Everybody feels like they have expectations they have to meet. Whether they are academic expectations, family expectations, or athletic expectations, everybody tries to live up to what the people around them think they should be able to do.
But are expectations a good thing? On one hand, they drive us to work harder and succeed in more areas of our lives. If it weren’t for expectations, we would never know what is defined as a “success” and when we should be happy with our work. We would never have drive.
This clip from my favorite TV show, Modern Family, humorously shows expectations that can stem from your family.
It is highly possible that unreasonable expectations can be put on a person, which is why they can have a down side. When expectations are unable to be met, people can feel absolutely horribly about themselves.
But does disappointment drive us to work harder? Or at a certain point do we become so overcome with disappointment that we don’t even bother trying anymore? I’m sure both happen.
In my life, at least, expectations have had a very positive influence. My friends and family expect me to excel and succeed in school, so I take advanced classes and work hard in them. Part of it is for myself, sure. But honestly, a lot of it is wanting the approval of my peers.
I am forced to constantly make the decision of whether I should do something to meet expectations or if I should do something to my personal satisfaction. Many people in my English class at school, for example, are trying to meet the expectations set by our teacher for an assigned innovation project. Some people, have overcommitted themselves, and will soon be met with disappointment. Hopefully, this doesn’t discourage them to stop trying to make their projects awesome.
Basically, what we need to do is create balance. Balance between what others want for us, and what we want for ourselves. Both are important and have different effects on how we behave and what we do.