Lower Your Expectations + Raising Your Sights = Success

Over the weekend I was reading a book on Tranquility. The idea of the book was that when our mind is in an angry, aggravated, frustrated state, it is almost impossible to have true happiness. It is only through the development of a tranquil mind state that one can hope to achieve happiness and peace.

In the book the author used an equation:

Expectations – Reality = Anger

If you have a high expectation and the reality falls short then whatever is left over is your anger with not achieving your expectation.

For example a dictator who rules with an iron fist. His expectation of how he wishes to be treated is 100. A servant who is doing his best might make a mistake on a given day and treat the dictator at a 80. The difference of 20 is the anger that the dictator will have, which would probably lead to the servants death.

Expectation 100

Reality      -  80

Anger          20

Now take a person who does not have high expectations. Lets give him a number of 20. He tries his best and the results he gets is 60. His anger is a -40 ie. he has no anger, he has tranquility. And because of his tranquil state he can enjoy the results of his effort.

Expectations  20

Reality         -60

Anger          -40 (tranquility)

So our of this came my morning reflection. 
How much greater would my success be if I lowered my expectations?

At first the thought didn’t sit so well. If I don’t have high expectations then where will my drive come from. I need to have super high expectations. But the problem would be that when reality would fall short (even if its marginal), I would end up getting frastrated and often end up loosing valuable productive time. Instead of getting better I would be focused on the self anger of not hitting my target.

There had to be another element. Then it came to me.

I have to set my sights very high.

I need to go for the gold in all I do, be my best.

How does this help?

If my focus is great success but my expectations are low. Then each time I fall short of the goal a few things will happen.

If I have some success – I will be able to celebrate the success and the joy of that success no matter how small will motivate me to move to the next level.

If I experience failure – Because my expectations are low I will not get caught up in frustration. Therefore I will be able to remain calm and objective. And because my sights are set very high, I will see this as a stepping stone to move forward and not as a set back towards defeat.

I still have to reflect further, but I would appreciate your reflections.

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