Friday, 2 April 2010

Expectations v. Reality



Ok - so how many of you had high expectations for a rain-free sunny Easter, where you could head off on congestion-free roads in perfect harmony with your family. I have found that setting expectations can often lead to disappointment - when something doesn't quite match up to what you thought, or someone didn't quite deliver the goods.  So why do we do it?  Why do we build an expectation about an event or a place and more importantly around other people's behaviours?  After all we can't predict what someone else will do.  We only carry responsibility for ourself and our own behaviours and actions.


I have found the same can happen when I set an expectation around a cake I am making.  The picture in the book looks lovely, I have all the correct ingredients and I have followed the recipe exactly so surely this cake will turn out just perfectly.  When I put the cake in the oven I have done as much as I can to influence the situation but who knows what might happen.  I made hot cross buns recently.  It was a first for me to work with yeast and what a lot of time and effort was required.  There was kneading and proving and even an overnight stint in the fridge for it to do whatever it needed to do.  There was lots of preparation to achieve the end result.  And you know what when they finally went into the oven, I had really high expectations.  I had put in all the time, all the effort and these buns were going to be fantastic.  What could be better I thought than home-made hot cross buns?  In fact, Tesco's finest ones were.  So what happened?  I'm not sure if the oven was just extra hot, or I left them in to long, but I did manage to burn the tops.  What a disappointment!  They tasted ok but were not a huge success.

So who might you be placing unrealistic expectations on today?  Is it not sometimes better to go with the flow, accept others for what they do bring into your life and have a good splash in the puddles in your wellies?

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