The One About All The Expectations

happy aloha fridays Oct 05, 2018

ex·pec·ta·tion - (ekspekˈtāSH(ə)n/)

1. a strong belief that something will happen or be the case in the future.
2. a belief that someone will or should achieve something.
3. one's prospects of inheritance.
4. Mathematics—another term for expected value (a predicted value of a variable, calculated as the sum of all possible values each multiplied by the probability of its occurrence.)

We deal with expectations every day.

We expect to wake every morning, tackle our to-do lists, get our kids to school, go to our jobs, deal with co-workers and managers, execute our plans, make progress on our projects, etc.

We also deal with unexpected things—circumstances that appear in the form of unexpected surprises; you find money in the laundry, you finally land that account with a certain client, a friend or family member announces they are getting married or are having a baby, you land that new job and have to relocate to a new city, you passed that important exam or class, or you simply accomplish a task or goal sooner than the deadline.

Other unexpected things can happen—you lose a job, you get a serious medical diagnosis, you lose a loved one, you break up with someone you've been in relationship with for a long time, you discover that a friendship has gone south with no explanation, your car breaks down, or you didn't land that job/account/project.

In Gretchen Rubin's new book, The Four Tendencies, she breaks down her observations of expectations this way:

"I was sitting still, but my mind was racing forward with thoughts about expectations. I grasped at that moment that we all face two kinds of expectations:

  • outer expectations—expectations others place on us, like meeting a work deadline
  • inner expectations—expectations we place on ourselves, like keeping a New Year's resolution

Depending on a person's response to outer and inner expectations, that person falls into one of four distinct types:

Upholders—respond readily to both outer expectations and inner expectations

Questioners—question all expectations; they meet an expectation only if they believe it's justified, so in effect they respond only to inner expectations

Obligers—respond readily to outer expectations but struggle to meet inner expectations

Rebels—resist all expectations, outer and inner alike."

What is your response type?

Take the quiz to find out! ---> The Four Tendencies Quiz


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