MY TWO CENTS:
We shared the idea of gaps in our last edition of MTC. After taking a look at some potential gaps we all faced, we encouraged our readers to consider their own gaps and get to work closing those gaps. If you’d like to read (or re-read) that edition, just click here.
As I was preparing to write this edition, it dawned on me that we’ve been having lots of conversations with folks recently about their goals and dreams, as well as their irritations and frustrations. This brought me back to our gaps concept and the work everyone does to close their gaps.
I wish I could remember the person from whom, or place in which, I heard the quote I shared last week, but it has stuck with me and is poignant for this edition’s topic, too:
“Frustration lies in the gap between expectation and reality.”
Sure…this may be an oversimplification. But isn’t it funny how such simple phrases can have such meaningful impact when considered in the context of our lives and circumstances?
My personal expectations of a situation, a relationship, the achievement of a goal, the outcome of a plan, or the hope for a certain result are developed by lots of things. Sometimes those expectations are completely baseless and fraught with insecure emotions and fear. Sometimes they’re built on experience and history. Regardless of the source of my expectation, I’m likely to hold pretty tight to that expectation until it is realized or all hope of realization is gone.
I know logically that I can’t control lots of things. That doesn’t stop me from planning, working, and expecting. Thus, the frustration!
One of the things we like to do as we build our financial plans for those we serve is to consider lots of potential realities. While this doesn’t guarantee any specific outcome, it does help us understand that the dynamic nature of life and an ever-changing world is going to offer us some realities that we may not understand, choose, or prefer. It doesn’t change the fact that those realities are in fact…real.
If you asked, “So, what do we do about that, Scott? Just live in frustration?”
I would reply, “You can live there if you want to, but sounds like a poopy way to live to me!”
What if we made room within our expectations for a vision of successful outcomes regardless of reality. It’s not all rainbows and unicorns, and sometimes things just stink. But…wouldn’t it be cool if we could set our expectations in a way that allowed us to see opportunity, peace, and joy in all circumstances or realities?
It seems to me to be a pretty lofty challenge that I have certainly not yet attained! What do you think about joining me on this ongoing journey into less dependence on our own expectations being met, and recognizing more joy, peace, and opportunity in the current realities we face?
Make it a great week!
Scott Cousino, CFP®, CEPA®