Expectation Management

“I don’t think I have a future in that organization. I am just dragging myself to work every morning. I have lost the motivation to put in those long hours at work. I don’t know why, except my first job which was with you, I have never been lucky to find the right work environment,” vented Sanjay to Avyakta. Satisfied needs don’t motivate man. The West envies the spiritual roots of the East and the East desires the materialism of the West. We always want to trade places.

In every person’s career, there is no rationale behind the impulses of the heart. No doubt, Sanjay had incomparable talent. Yet, Sanjay had his limitation –nothing and nobody satisfied him. He was a man perpetually disturbed. Everything and everybody became boring after some time. You listen best when you have nothing more to say. An unburdened mind is a receptive mind. Sanjay’s eyes confirmed that he was ready to absorb, and he knew that something within him needed correction. Avyakta said, “You cannot stand under a mango tree and expect oranges. What is even more foolish is blaming the mango tree for not fulfilling your expectations.

So, either change your expectations according to the tree or find a tree that matches your expectations. Don’t continue to stand under a mango tree feeling frustrated that you are not getting oranges and keep accusing the mango tree for it.” That’s the way to peaceful progress in life. Avyakta continued, “This isn’t the case with you alone; it seems to be the predicament of mankind. In employer-employee relationships, in parent child relationships, in man-woman relationships, man’s quandary seems to be ‘mismanaged expectations’. I don’t want to sound like Buddha by asking you to drop your expectations, but I am telling you to manage your expectations better.” Avyakta said, “First realize that a mango tree is a mango tree. It will remain a mango tree, and from it you can get only mangoes.

Irrespective of your expectations, it will produce only mangoes. People are what they are. An organization is what it is. Life is what life is. You expect people to be other than what they are and get frustrated with that, you expect an organization to be other than what it is and get frustrated with it. Your expectation for oranges from a mango tree not being fulfilled isn’t the fault of the mango tree. This is what I call mismanaged expectations. If you think no organization is giving you the right work environment, then why don’t you start an organization of your own and run it on your terms. This is what I mean when I say find a tree that matches your expectations; grow your own tree.” “Sanjay, if you want peaceful progress in life, follow these guidelines,” said Avyakta, “one, define your expectations. More often than not, we aren’t sure ourselves as to what we expect. We order an item from the menu card and seeing what the person on the adjacent table is eating we think ‘maybe I should have ordered that’. So, first stop being such a confused person. Two, clarify your expectations explicitly.

So often, others don’t even know what you are expecting from them; then how can they fulfill it for you? Life is already complex. Please simplify life for others by clarifying your expectations clearly and explicitly. Three, in case your expectations are not fulfilled, check if you are expecting oranges from a mango tree. If you find you are only expecting mangoes form a mango tree, then keep communicating; keep clarifying your expectations patiently. Sure enough, patience will eventually bear fruit. If this isn’t the case, for instance, in key relationships where you cannot change the tree, learn to accept the mango tree as a mango tree and change your expectations according to it. It will leave you in peace. For your own sake, develop a taste for mangoes. In cases like organizations, where change is possible, find a tree according to your expectations. Rather than trying to change the world, change what is within your control, which is your own self. This will give you progress.”

Successful people don’t plan results. They plan beginnings. Right results always follow right beginnings.