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Expectation vs. Invitation

I've noticed that feelings of frustration, disappointment, or sadness often stem from unmet expectations.

I expected to be kid-free by 7:30pm. It's 7:29pm and they're still not changed.

I expected to have a functioning shower several weeks ago. The contractors said they'll come "soon."

I could go on. I'm sure you could too.

How often do we actually voice our expectations out loud?

If you imagine the direction of an expectation, you can think of an arrow that starts with me and points to you, right?

I expect something of you.

Or I expect something of the world.

What if we changed that direction?

What might we do to have the arrow point in the opposite direction, so that it's a pull to me and not a push to you?


Think about what happens when you invite someone to do something.

You ask a question, you offer something.

A true invitation is one done with no expectation.

The question may be answered or the offer may be accepted, but both of those things are outside of your control.

Funnily enough, expectations work the same way. You can set them, but if you're depending on others to meet them, unfortunately that's out of your control too.

Invitations, true invitations, free us from the burden of expectations.

All we can do is ask the question.

Don't set expectations. Offer invitations.

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