We expect people and circumstances to conform to our desires. Is this realistic?

We have limited control over circumstances or other people. People normally do the best they are capable of doing at that particular moment. Circumstances and events happen over which we have little or no control.

When we expect circumstances or people to conform to our belief of what they should be or do we set ourselves up for disappointment. People always have and always will do what they consider best for themselves or in which they are most interested.

People may not always do what is best for themselves when they have other things which are of greater interest to them. For instance, a Mother will make sacrifices for the welfare of her children. An individual will make sacrifices for a cause in which that person strongly believes.

Basically, however, we only do those things we consider to be in our own best interest. Why should we expect others to behave any differently?

While it is true we can force others to do things we wish done, it is not permanent. The moment we relent they will revert to their original nature. This is totally ineffective and inefficient.

A better way is to set the example for others and hope they will see it is to their advantage to emulate us. The only way to get others to become what we wish them to be is to show them it is truly in their best interest to do so.

When you think about it, you always do your best at those things which hold your interest and undivided attention. We are not interested in what we do not enjoy. But what about pain? Pain may get our undivided attention, but our only interest is in getting rid of it as quickly as possible.

Pain and pleasure are our greatest motivators. We will do just about anything to rid ourselves of pain or to gain pleasure. We put much greater effort into those things we enjoy and which are of interest to us.

When setting our expectations we can always prefer they happen as we wish. However, we should not be unduly disappointed if things do not conform to our desires.

Preferring one thing to another does not set us up for as much disappointment as when we expect one particular thing to happen. We can always say that we would have preferred so-and-so to happen, but since it didn't we can adjust to the other outcomes.

What are your thoughts along these lines?

Author's Bio: 

Copyright 2001 by Robert Taylor
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