Diabolical Circle of Expectation

There is a dialog in ‘Friends’, where Joey says to Phoebe “There is no Act which is a Selfless Act”. At that point of time we must have not given it much of a thought. But now when sitting in peace with all the chaos around, these words make sense. But these words started ringing yesterday again when I was talking with my best friend over a call. She was spiraling in the tornado of expectations not fulfilled by someone.

This is something we all go through probably even on daily basis. We set expectations from everyone & everything. Our cell phone to work properly, at least remain charged the entire day. Expectation of the day to go as planned, expectations to not get stuck in traffic and so on. I think you must have got a fair idea, but here begins the vicious circle of expectations.

Why do we expect? Is it okay to expect? Should we even expect? I remember a quote from Bhagwat Gita wherein it says “Karam kar phal ki apeksha mat kar” which ideally means, ‘Keep working or doing your duties, without expecting any returns’. Is it possible? Is it correct? Is this how life should be lived? There is no wrong or right in this? There is neither any correct answer for this question.

There is a pattern to all of this, we do then we expect returns. Many of you would disagree, but somewhere when we give we do expect something in return. Its a circle and soon without us realizing it becomes a circle in which we keep spinning till our end. This non stop spin makes us dizzy and delirious. This is a pattern, a very common pattern. Unless we don’t break this, we will be like ‘Abhimanyu’ who was stuck in the Chakravyu. I am not suggesting to stop helping others, but yes help them within a reasonable amount. We do not have to bend or kill ourselves for others. When we go overboard that is when the expectations from others start creeping in.

What we fail to realize is that we are burdened with our own expectations. We put ourselves in misery, when we assume that the other person is responsible for our happiness. We give them the control for our happiness when it is solely in our hands. Why do we do it? We never knew that our happiness is in our hands and not others. Our ignorance regarding this has made us miserable.

The day we let go of expecting from people, stop giving them the power to know that we expect something from them. That will be the very day your happiness will be in your hands. This is not easy, not easily applicable and certainly not a day’s job. We have to work on this over and over again. We will get back to the old pattern of doing things for people and then assuming that they owe you a favor and will return when you expect. The life is not a Godfather movie. We need to get real, need to understand the amount of dependencies we really have on people. We need to learn to recognize real people and not take them on face value.

This all will take a little time. But we need to be patient with ourselves. We cannot blame ourselves for making mistakes. Learn to break the pattern which hold us back. Embrace a new & positive life. Accept that we only need to expect from ourselves. Rest all will fall in place like the puzzle. A beautiful puzzle. 🙂

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