Unrealistic Expectations

Are there such things as unrealistic expectations? Sure, there are.

Expecting other people to acquiesce to one’s norms or values is certainly unrealistic. Hoping someone will love you simply because you love that person is an unrealistic expectation, and all too common.

Here’s another example. A person cannot become wealthy just by thinking it into existence. That is wishful thinking that borders on delusional. In order to command a great deal of money, resources, or assets, one has to be consistent in employing intelligent and actionable strategies over an extended period of time.  

According to John A. Johnson, professor of psychology at Penn State, “The problem of expectation occurs when we expect something to happen without good reasons for that expectation. If I believe that my expectations alone will bring me what I want, I am using magical thinking and setting myself up for disappointment.”

In essence, expecting something to happen will not necessarily make it happen. The odds are stacked firmly against that sort of thinking. HOWEVER…there’s always a “however,” here is where the paradigm shift begins.

What are dreams if not a host of subconscious thought manifestations, i.e., unrealistic expectations?

Here is the question that will guide the rest of the discussion. Should we as bloggers and aspiring authors publish our written works knowing that the average book [will sell] less than 250 copies per year and less than 3,000 copies over its lifetime?

The fact is, the majority of writers will not get a positive return on their investment, meaning, the time and money getting a book to press plus book sales. And ninety-nine percent of published works will go unnoticed no matter how good their authors believe them to be.

When I released my book, Choose Love Not Hate, which in my mind should have been a hit (and still can be), I expected this work to do extremely well…like on a national scale. It has been one year since the book’s publication, and to date, I have sold less than five hundred copies. Now grant it, I did not have a marketing budget, which was intentional because I believed (and still do) that the book’s content would suffice as its own critical mass leading to thousands, if not millions of copies being sold.

Were my expectations unrealistic? Perhaps. Nonetheless, here is the takeaway.

Screw the norm! Set unrealistic expectations because that is what disrupters do. That’s what dreamers do! 

So…“Dream impossible dreams. Think inconceivable thoughts. Pursue unattainable goals. Execute unimaginable ideas. Conquer insurmountable obstacles. Solve unworkable problems. Break unbreakable chains. Chart inaccessible paths. Seek impractical solutions. And expect improbable outcomes.”

Have you ever had an “unrealistic expectation” that turned into a stunning success? If so, I’d love to hear about it. 

 

Featured image credit: wallcoo.

 

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4 thoughts on “Unrealistic Expectations

  1. I see no problems with setting unrealistic expectations. It helps us push our boundaries and strive for more… whatever. The catch is having a sense of reality that allows you to accept it when you don’t meet those expectations. Understanding that dreams/expectations might be out of reach is what separates the “successful” from the “whining failures”. Your book that you mentioned seems a pretty good example. You dreamed of a best seller, but you have not achieved that (yet). You do, however, seem to understand why – lack of marketing, etc. And while you’re not exactly satisfied with not achieving the dream, you are accepting that you have not (yet). Instead of whining over your failure, you have come to terms with the fact that given the conditions, the best-seller status has not come (yet).
    Besides, selling nearly 500 copies of a book is nothing to sneeze at… nice job.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott, I would agree that one’s response, i.e., understanding and accepting whatever life presents especially when things do not go as planned, is an indicator of growth. And growth is a necessary component of success. I love the following quote by Ines Vieira, which says: “Life doesn’t always see eye to eye with a person’s plans. Sometimes you have to let go if you want to experience the true beauty life is willing to offer you.” Thanks for sharing.

      Liked by 1 person

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