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New Year’s Expectations

We all hear about resolutions, but let’s face it, most people’s resolve doesn’t have too much foundational support. The path to disappointment is virtually guaranteed. Focusing on expectations gives far more weight to a successful outcome. Charles Dickens was onto something when he created a whole world around some Great Expectations. Expectations usually get a completely bum rap. Among my own inner circles, I’ve discovered that ‘expectations’ often carry connotations of entitlement and greed and, usually, immediate gratification. In the broader world, expectations are heavily weighted towards our historical, long-term experience. Most of us carry everyone ELSE’s expectations around with us. Family, friends, peer groups, work colleagues, social groups all exert expectations upon us. From some, like family, these are often vocalized, activated expectations. From most others, these are quieter, sub-conscious or subliminal expectations. I call these passive expectations. Both passive and activated expectations revolve mostly around success, abstinence, relationship dictates, career and job promotion, stability, and all the greater ‘shoulds’ of the world that most people buy into blindly year after year. Breaking that spell is the principle engagement I undertake with all of my clients. We engage with this through a question-based process that allows all of these tacit agreements to scurry out of hiding into the harsh, glaring light of reality. Often, not only is it not pretty, it’s shocking, alarming and…