A New Year of Surprises

January 2, 2022 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

It’s good place to be when all you have is hope and not expectations.” Danny Boyle, director of the movie Slumdog Millionaire

How does it work? Hope without expectations. If you expect nothing, then for what are you hoping?

Here’s the real question: At the end of the day, are you hoping for accomplishments and possessions, or are you hoping for something even greater? It seems to me that our primal human hope has more to do with interior desires than external acquisitions or accolades.

When it comes to hope, I am a hoper. Today, I am feeling rather optimistic. Oddly, my decades long affair with cars and clothes is waning. I long for something very different. I hope for something very different.

Expecting Nothing

Just a couple of months ago I visited Portugal for the first time. Although I had heard wonderful things about the country, I had no idea what I was in for. I had hope for a delightful experience, but absolutely no expectations

Journaling under a large umbrella at an outdoor rooftop lounge in Lisbon I wrote…

What is it that makes for a most pleasant experience, especially on a vacation in Portugal? I think it may begin with “no expectations.” I had none. In fact, I may have had “less than none.” Such a mindset is ideal, for expectations rarely come to fruition, especially in a place never previously visited.  

The next requisite mindset may be a spirit of openness to whatever it is that one may encounter. So… no expectations and an open spirit willing to engage with cultural differences is about all one needs to be mentally prepared to fully intake the pleasant pleasure available in almost any circumstance.

As we begin another New Year in 2022, perhaps a promising place to begin might be with Danny Boyle’s observation that we are most likely better off having hopes and dreams without specific expectations. For me, such a mindset leaves space for surprises and necessary challenges.

Focus First on What You Can Control

I believe that I can only “expect” something from that which I can control. And, no matter my intention, outcomes are always out of my control. But, I can measure and predict my efforts, and for that reason, efforts and mindsets hold a special place in the realms of hopes and dreams.

There is a significant limit to what I can control… other than my attitude. I have learned that my predetermined mindset dictates how much I can absorb and enjoy in a new situation.

Let It Be

For the past few years, I have elected to “let life happen,” expecting less and paying attention even more. Instead of playing God, I now follow the Beatles and “Let It Be.” All that remains for me to do is (1) to be open, (2) to accept that things will not always turn out the particular way that I desire, and (3) to refrain from quick judgment of critique.

After you discover the fruits of letting it be, you will never go back to that disappointing habit of predicting and expecting. The fun is in the receiving of that which you did not expect!

When You Expect Less

You Can Discover Even More

Photo courtesy of wildpixel at istockphoto


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