Minimalism and Expectations.

“There were two ways to be happy: improve your reality, or lower your expectations”
― Jodi Picoult


I haven’t written anything this past whole week.

I have reasons. But, as a person, who promotes choice it will be unfair to give them or even to believe that they are valid enough as reasons.

I didn’t write. Plain and simple.

The problem however lies where I expect myself to write.

The bigger problem is that people expect me to write. And that too in a certain way and context.

And, it did weigh me down to not be able ‘stand’ up to it.

For this post, I have a gentle request.

For the next 8 minutes or so, forget all about what you already know about expectations. Allow me to bring another face to it.

You might agree or disagree. That’s completely fine.

But try reading the post with the least preset ‘expectations’ about the word ‘expectation’ in particular.


Without even consciously thinking, this word has become one of the most dominant force in our lives.


We expect. A lot. From the life. From our world. From people around us. From ourselves. From Government. From organizations. From every single one and thing around.

Really. Think about it. Look around and try finding one thing or one person from which you don’t ‘expect’. It is a dare.

So what is wrong with that?

There is nothing wrong with it. We’re not thinking about what is wrong and what is right and so on and so forth.

We’re thinking about what impact does it create on your life.

We are thinking whether it amplifies or reduces your happiness level.

We’re thinking that.

I have had many fall outs with many people.

And part of the reason always has been that we both ‘expected’ certain things from each other that we would do or not do.

And, I let many people go. And, I now realize that, many beautiful and gorgeous soul go because somehow they didn’t meet my expectations.

Chances are you also have let many people go.

The question: Are they liable to stand on your expectations?

Bigger question: Did those expectations make you happy?

In a way yes, It is that old clichéd writing about expect less.

But there is a reason, it is clichéd. It has been used and told so many times that we don’t remember its importance anymore.

Refreshing the memory a bit.

Are you asking us to stop expecting from people? That sounds insane.

Well, no. I don’t ‘expect’ you to do that.

But let’s consider it for once and see.

What will the world look like if there are no expectations?

Your relations will be healthier because you have not created a standard. Things that should make you happy will make you happy. Things will surprise you. You’ll be always excited about the relation.

Your life will be so damn good. Imagine, you have no expectations from your life. Better, neither does anyone else. You’re free to do what you love. No one expects something out of you. And neither do you.

The world will be better place. There is no society expectations to shape you in a manner they find appropriate. Everyone can breathe. Live their individuality. And love like never before.

Sounds radical. I know. But sounds good. At least to me.

I do agree that many place to expect is necessary. It is genetic. And often serves as a base. But we misuse it. Abuse it. To the point where it hinders with our own being. Our own happiness.

Apply minimalism to expectations, that’s all I ask.

Replace the word ‘expectations’ with the word ‘quality’ wherever you can.

What does applying minimalism to expectations looks like?

Search for quality in life. Search for quality in relations. Search for quality in every single individual.

Don’t expect from life. From things. From relations. From people.

They are not liable to fulfill it. They don’t owe you anything.

Don’t let false expectations run your life. You’ll be unhappy.

Because you’ve created that egoistic expectation bubble around you. That bubble inside which you sit and think that people owe you something. That the world owes you something. That life owes you something.

Reality alert: It doesn’t.

That bubble will break eventually. Like every other bubble. And it will hurt, badly.

Let everyone breathe their individuality. Things that make them who they’re. Not things that you want them to do. Or not how you want them to be like.

How they’re. Accept it. Because life, world and people: they’re beautiful regardless of your expectations.

In those whole expectations, there is only one loser. That is us.

The one who expects.

It is difficult. Obviously. We have been molded into beings who expect. I am myself yet to let it go, completely.

But it works. Like charm.

With less expectations, life surprises you. People surprise you. The world surprise you.

Because you let them breathe.

You let them breathe their complexities.

You let them breathe their individuality.

You don’t ask them to be how you think they should be.

You let them be.

You accept and acknowledge the beauty in what and who they already are.

You don’t try to change them according to how you think they should be.

You see quality and beauty in what they already are. And how your relation already is.

And this feeling, this experience is gorgeous and mesmerizing.

Because you see everything in different light.

All you need is to try to lower your expectations and to replace the word expectations with QUALITY on all occasion.

Go now. And be awesome.

*That Indian Minimalist crossed more than 100 readers few days back, I really feel inspired by this. Thank you and keep reading, sharing and commenting.

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18 thoughts on “Minimalism and Expectations.

  1. Pingback: A Hope from our Long Lost Distant Relations | Wired With Words

  2. I loved it. This is the third minimalist post I have read so far and all of them I liked.
    What I can’t seem to differ Is that isn’t quality and expectation one and the same?
    If we don’t expect great things and yet look for quality isn’t it still the same?
    It is for me.

    • Hey, Mayur! Thanks for such an insightful comment.

      There is a basic difference between expectation and quality. And that is the only thing that separates the two of them.

      Expectation is something which you perceive outside of yourself, in relation to others may it be thing or person.

      Quality is something which you perceive from inside. And not subjected to anything else.

      Expectation is outside in and quality is inside out.

      A minor difference. But makes a world of difference. 🙂

      Keep reading! Cheers.

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  6. hey Hardik. thanks for checking out my thoughts. seems like we’ve got some similar thoughts. i had a great time in india. hard to imagine i’m now sitting in the luxury of south beach. keeping it simple, JT

  7. Liked your post. I agree that we need to reduce the expectation, we need to see the beauty in everything, quality etc. No question on that. I too believe in that.

    But I am just wondering, can we live without any expectations?? I mean every single action that we take is attached with some kind of expectation. Say when I eat something I expect the food should satisfy me. Or when I cook hubby’s favourite food I expect him to relish that. Or when I read a book I expect that I should get something out of it. Of course my reactions would vary when the expectations are not met. So I believe we should be more able to handle the unmet expectations than totally removing the expectations. Because living without expectation is something I am not able to imagine.

    • If you re-read again, I have said that we can’t live without them.

      Yes, I have suggested that. And I believe someday, we’ll be able to achieve it.

      That’ll be when we take life as it is and let it surprise us.

      The problem with your examples is that they are all depended on some external entity. For eg. In case of your hubby example, you’ll want to cook food that he’ll relish not because of the element of expectations but love.

      You’ve no control over how he’ll find the food to be because that’s quite external to you as a factor. That’ he’ll decide, whether or not you expect.

      So, you can live without expectations. Yes, it is too radical a thought. And, it’ll be difficult. But someday, we’ll be able to. So, I hope.

      And, in relation to this post that’s what I exactly have said. That try managing your expectations and substitute the word expectation for quality and other actual emotions rather than expectation.

      Thank you for such an insightful comment. It really means a lot.

      Keep reading. Cheers. 🙂

  8. Expectation always hide in our unconscious mind as we are all being nurtured since we are young.

    Parents expect us to be good and do well in school.
    Society expect us to contribute more money.
    Company expect us to excel in our job all the time.
    Partners expect us to provide the very best every moment in his/her life.

    Replacing expectation with quality? I never think of that.

    Thanks for the sharing. 🙂

    • That is true.

      We have been nurtured in a manner where we expect. Expect from people, things and to an extent to the entire universe.

      The problem with expectation, apart from the usual sadness, irritation and anger, it gives a sense that these people, things and universe owes you something. They are answerable to you. Or liable to you.

      That is not true.

      Thank you for such an insightful comment.

      Keep reading 🙂

  9. The beginning quote really got to me, because I was just about to write something similar to that. Sometimes life just isn’t what you expect it to be, so either lower your expectations, or make a change… Thank you.

    • I am glad you loved it.

      True that, life most of the times is different from what we expect. And that’s how it is. But that need not be a bad thing necessarily.

      Keep reading. Cheers!

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