Tag Archives: Expectations

Maybe. Maybe not.

From Volume 10, Issue 7:We’re human. We judge. It’s what we do. Good, bad. Right, wrong. Pretty, ugly. Useful, useless. Fast, slow. True, false. (I refer to this tendency in each of us as our Knower/Judger, or K/J.)

How do we make those judgments? We compare what’s happening right now with history lessons from our past. Our K/J has set up a database that can be quickly accessed to help us make snap decisions (not really decisions at all, but actually programmed responses) that help us get through life with a minimum of work. We are, as a species, pretty lazy sometimes. And as long as these responses generally work for us, we probably don’t see any reason to look for new ways to respond.

Age and Expectations

From Volume 9, Issue 12:Over the years, multiple psychologists have delineated the “stages of life.” Dr. Thomas Armstrong has 12. Mark Manson has four. Others claim there are five or eight. In all models, there is a phase in our lives when we separate from our parents, go out in the world, and acquire. We acquire skills, possessions, money, reputations, relationships, and more. In this stage (roughly 25–45 years of age, depending on which model you’re using), we are responsible for making ourselves into what we are going to be. And it’s full of frustration and expectation.

Reinterpreting Trust Issues

From Volume 9, Issue 11:Recently, many of my clients are having “trust” issues with employers, supervisors, direct reports, spouses, and family members. Many of us have also had “trust” issues with our presidential candidates. So what is it about trust that gets us so worked up? In the last years of his life, my mentor, Jut Meininger, was attempting to teach me that the foundation of all frustration is expectation. “If you manage your expectations,” he would say, “the level of frustration in your life would evaporate.”
What is trust if not an expectation on steroids?

Make Lucking Work for You

From Volume 9, Issue 5:You won’t find the verb “to luck” and the associated gerund “lucking” in the dictionary. Why? It’s my word, that’s why. Lucking means creating your own luck, and we’re all doing it all the time. The question is, what kind of luck are we creating, and if it’s not the kind we want, can we change it?

Expectations and Aspirations

From Volume 9, Issue 2:My mentor, Jut Meininger, spent the last three years of his life attempting to get me to see the futility of having expectations. “Give up your expectations,” Jut would tell me from his Knower/Judger, “and you will completely eliminate frustration.” (I’ve been known to be very frustrated on and off during my life…many of you may have witnessed this!) My response from my K/J was, “How does someone with the goal-oriented K/J set of rules actually accomplish anything? Don’t we have to have expectations in order to succeed?” Jut’s been gone six years now, and his wisdom is finally sinking in.

Happy 2016?

From Volume 9, Issue 1:The cultural Knower/Judger rule, at least here in the Western world, is that we continually strive to close the gap between what we have or are, and what we want or want to be. The desire to close this gap is a motivator. It’s what will help you make a higher salary or annual income this year, hit your sales goals, and get the car, house, or clothes you want. But let’s face it. The driving force of the American Dream is a certain level of dissatisfaction and, quite naturally, unhappiness—until you get what you want. My question is this: do dissatisfaction and unhappiness have to go together?

Hitting the Reset Button

From Volume 8, Issue 11:Every once in a while my computer locks up. In Mac land they call it the “pinwheel of death.” Microsoft people call it the “blue screen of death.” Anyway…it’s death. Sometimes the router for my in-home Wi-Fi just gets testy and stops communicating with my devices. I’ve had times when the “smart” stuff in my car has stopped working. How do I recover from these little tragedies? They all have reset buttons! Do a restart and all is well.

But what about my reset button? You know, the one that eliminates what’s causing me stress right now and gives me a new outlook on a situation and new energy to move forward? The way I see it, there are three types of reset buttons we can press when life is challenging us—if we remember to press them.

Getting Off the Starting Line

From Volume 8, Issue 2:Three…Two…One…GO!

That’s the routine every competing rally crew goes through at the start of a racing section. And once the driver releases the clutch and mashes the accelerator to the floor, our world goes from calm and quiet to action and commitment.

I’ve been thinking about that starting sequence as a metaphor for things like New Year’s resolutions (or Tuesday afternoon’s decision to get this article written, or to change the oil in my wife’s car). Somehow I’m just not as compelled to stay on task with these more mundane projects as I am to stay alive in a rally car at 97 miles per hour on a one-lane gravel road lined with trees that aren’t going to move when struck.

Bah, Humbug!: The Season of Dysfunctional Dialogue

From Volume 7, Issue 12:It’s Christmastime again. The season when we all try to decompress and review the past year and vow to chill and get along.

But somehow the opposite seems to happen. I’m stressed because I can’t get it all done in time—tree, decorations, shopping, cooking. The last person I want to be cooped up with on Christmas Day is my aunt, who never smiles. And then there are all the projects, both at home and at work, that aren’t going to get done because I’m putting all the “some assembly required” toys together. Can we just skip Christmas this year?

Hands Up Don’t Shoot vs. Pants Up Don’t Loot

From Volume 7, Issue 11:By any standard, the little St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is a pretty old town. Called Ferguson Station at its beginnings in 1854, it became the fourth-class city of Ferguson in 1894 with 1,000 residents. So we’re not talking about some 1950s-era suburb here. Ferguson was an enclave of well-to-do houses with owners who commuted into St. Louis on one of the eight trains a day that stopped there.

At the risk of appearing to simplify the struggles that the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson has been experiencing, I want to compare and contrast two themes