We all make plans, wish for things and have expectations of how someone will act or something will turn out. Unfortunately, things don’t always turn out the way we would like and people don’t always react the way we expected or sometimes even show up.
There have been times where I have planned an event, expecting hundreds of people and more than half are no-shows. I have been so excited about something and expected the same or similar reaction from another, only to have them respond in a way for which I was totally unprepared.
Other’s failure to show up or their negative reaction to something totally stressed me out in the past. There have been times where it completely threw me off balance and my entire day (sometimes week) was ruined. Sometimes it was to the point of me getting physically sick and/or making everyone else around me as miserable as I was. Things began to change when I started to develop headaches and my blood pressure elevated. When numerous physical evaluations revealed no other reason for it, the doctors determined it was stress.
I knew then that it was time to make some changes and better manage the events in my life. It was then that I learned to expect the unexpected. I had to accept the fact that my priorities were not everyone else’s priorities and they would not always show up just because I wanted them to show up. I learned to always have a backup plan…something that would keep me moving forward should someone not keep their word.
One of the most valuable lessons I have learned through expecting the unexpected is to let go of the high expectations I had for others and accept that sometimes there was going to be a glitch or two. I embraced the fact that I could not control other people but that I could exercise self-control. I learned to accept the fact that something unexpected might happen and to not get attached to the outcome.
Now, if an event doesn’t turn out the way I expected, I focus on what I learned through the process of planning and implementing. If someone doesn’t show up or support me, I focus on and show appreciation for those who do.
The greatest thing about expecting the unexpected, is that when we do so it sets us apart from the rest. Anyone can can deal with life when it is going well, but the real challenge is how we react when things don’t go as expected or planned. The true test of our character and endurance is how quickly we recover from setbacks and disappointments…how we think and act when the unexpected occurs.