I just spent a few days building a new website which was a lot of work. While I was building the site, I started thinking about how cool it would turn out, how people would enjoy it, and all of the comments and praise I would receive.
When I finished, I was happy with the results and was so excited.
However, there was no praise. There was no increase in traffic. There were no comments.
I was crushed. I became grumpy. I become withdrawn and worse of all – I started thinking too much.
“Why aren’t people visiting?” “I worked so hard to rebuild it!” “Did I waste all of that time?” “What did I do wrong…” The thoughts kept flowing and with every passing thought I sunk deeper.
The next day, I sat in quiet meditation and the thoughts just keep playing over and over in my head. And then I realized, “I know what is wrong – I had built unrealistic future expectations.”
I built expectations on how people would act – something completely out of my control.
I built expectations on how people would comment – no one visited so no one commented.
I built expectations about how I would feel when I received praise – which I didn’t.
I realized at that moment that I wasn’t being mindful and that I was actually living a fantasy.
I started this project because the website desperately needed to be updated and to better reflect our core values – I didn’t start with these unrealistic expectations, I just created them along the way.
After my realization when I look at the website, I am happy with the result, and my happiness is no longer based upon the whims of others.
TAKEAWAY: “Consider only those things for which you have direct control over.”