Expectations killed the cat

We’ve all heard the statement, “don’t get your hopes up” or “don’t have high expectations.” But why? Well life is never as we expect it to be and what would be the fun in that?

Everyday I am constantly surprised by what the day will offer. Even in a routine filled life, the day is full of constant surprises.

If I were to breakdown expectations into three categories it would be as followed.

  1. Expectations of oneself
  2. Expectations of others
  3. Expectations of the world

Recently, I have found many articles relating to expectations and I find them fascinating. If we can learn to control the amount of attention we give to expectations, I truly believe we can be happier.

  1. Expectations of oneself


Goal setting is great. Discipline is necessary. Too much of a good thing is toxic. We must be kind to ourselves. Talk to ourselves as if we are talking to a best friend. It is 100% necessary to hold ourselves to high standards but to not beat ourselves up for failing because we will fail.

2. Expectations of others

Startup Stock Photos
Startup Stock Photos


Interpretation for this can mean many things. I would like to talk about the idea of pygmalion effect, the idea that higher expectations will lead to higher results. A study was done with students who are held to higher standards with support and those who were held to lower standards. Those students who were held to higher standards ended up achieving more. You can read the study here. NPR also did a wonderful story covering this study and how teachers expectations will influence a great deal of a students life. When teachers have higher expectations of students they will fulfill that exception more so than those who aren’t expected much of. Listen or read the story here.

3. Expectations of the world


There is something about being in Seattle next to the Space Needle. When the Space Needle was made, the architects had thought the buildings in the future would look just as the Space Needle. Needless to say, that isn’t what the future ended up being. Architecture ended up being relatively similar to what it has been. In the 1800s a group of artists were asked to create images of what they thought the 2000s would look like as a whole and it is not what we are living in 2015. Vastly different in fact. The artwork is worth the time to take a look and calm down to realize life is never as we expect it to be.


It’s never as we expect it to be, remember to dance through the storm and what needs to happen will.



One thought on “Expectations killed the cat

  1. hmarsharchive says:

    This is a beautiful post! I love the idea about posting about expectations. It is all too often that we have enormous expectations right off the bat or very low expectations that we project too far in the future. This was a good reminder post for anyone just coming into the professional PR world or needs to look up from the dreary of the work life that there is more out there. I think an underlying message in your post was also a tip on perspective. Expectations are something that can be brought on by many external factors while perspective can serve as a much needed self reflection. Anyone at any point in their career can benefit from hearing this message.


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