So much of life is about expectations. Expect too much? A sure road to disappointment. Expect too little? You achieve too little. The trick is to get it just right.
There is some physiological evidence that expectations that are met or exceeded cause our brains to release dopamine. According to David Rock, author of Your Brain at Work, when that happens, we feel good. Expectations that are not met have the opposite effect. Just missing a green light can result in a slight drop in dopamine.
Alina Tugend wrote about Rock’s work in in The New York Times and added her own thoughts about managing expectations. Tugend advises us to have low expectations of what we can’t control and realistic expectations of things over which we have some control. Her conclusion: “Always expect the unexpected.”
Easier said then done.