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Today’s motivational nudge: Manage your expectations

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The other day I was at the doctor’s office and it occurred to me that one of the most important things a doctor needs to do is to manage the patient’s expectations.

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I think that when we’re sick, we can go into the doctor’s office with the secret hope that we’ll be given a solution that will solve the problem quickly. That may not be a realistic expectation depending on the particular situation, and then, it is up to the doctor to gently and (hopefully!) patiently let us know that we need to manage our expectations based on clinical knowledge of outcomes for that particular diagnosis.

Parents also have the same responsibility of managing expectations, as do teachers (and so many others who have the privilege of being a mentor) as they traverse the path of giving advice.

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So the follow up question is — how good are we at managing our own expectations?

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In my mind, the art of managing expectations is directly linked to having the knowledge of, and subsequently, the acceptance of “what is”. While aspiring for greater things is important, accepting “what is” as a starting point is equally as important.

Today’s motivational nudge is: Manage your own expectations through acceptance.

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Accept that you will interact with people who may not be at their best for any number of reasons, have empathy, and give them grace.

Accept that you may not be able to do everything you want to do today — and give yourself the same empathy and grace — as well as kudos for everything you actually are able to do.

Accept that time is finite and precious and spend more of it doing what is truly important to you.

Accept that the weather might be too hot or too cold or too something — get outside if you can and enjoy nature anyway.

Accept that not everything will work out exactly as you expect, and embrace what may feel like a let down as an opportunity to be creative with how you approach each challenge.

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Most of all let the minor frustrations of the day slide off your back and choose to have a purpose-filled, peaceful day.


10 thoughts on “Today’s motivational nudge: Manage your expectations

  1. I completely agree with you here! I know I can get very frustrated sometimes when things don’t go as planned or when I cannot change certain things, and being able to letting that go and accept it is really something I have to work on! When I manage to do so, I realise a big shift in my mood too!

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