5 Principles to Follow and Align Expectations with Reality

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Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything - all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.
Steve Jobs

Being prepared for what is coming, having the ability to foresee the direction in which a situation is going to be directed is a huge advantage which in general is reserved only for a few lucky people, and those people are usually called visionaries. Sometimes it is the result of hard work, while in other cases it is just karma, or destiny that simply helps.

For all the other people out there which are not born with this extra sense the most important thing is to simply be cautious and  pay serious attention to what is going on around you. The idea is to try and make up for this, lets say sensorial power lack and to be more specific, this can be done by applying the principles detailed below, principles which don't usually cross you mind when you need them the most.

1. Don’t overestimate the good chances

Whenever you are in a situation where you have to wait for feedback, regardless of the subject, try to evaluate with as much detachment as possible. Put the goods and bads in fair balance and draw the line afterwards.

If it’s easier for you, you can literally draw a line, after you put all the details down on a piece of paper. When you are very involved in a subject and you really want things to happen in a certain way, you risk ignoring the downside and you could end up being taken by surprise if things do not turn out the way you expect them to. Your disappointment level could also be amplified because of this so try and set some realistic expectations in regards with a challenging situation. Being optimistic is important, but try not to overestimate the best case scenario.

2. Don’t let your imagination run wild

Many times when you are deeply engaged in a subject, and you have really high expectations as far as how the situation should evolve, you are tempted to make up different scenarios in your head. And sometimes, you enjoy one of those scenarios so much, that you really want things to follow up based on you envisioned in your mind. And then, because you want it so much, you start seeing different aspects that support your wish, which is good.

The downside here is that you also start ignoring the details that can prevent the story from developing your way, and if in the end it actually won’t, you will just end up being very disappointed again. So, if you can just stop fantasizing, this issue will be diminished. The first step is to acknowledge that this is in fact something that you do.

3. Pay attention to the details

Sometimes, being on top of a situation and having only the general overview of it can be misleading. In appearance, you may think that an issue was resolved, or it is on it's way to being solved, but the surface can hide important aspects that can make a difference. So don’t let yourself become to influenced by the beautiful picture placed on top and try to dig deeper. Now, there’s no need to be paranoid, you just need to make sure that what it looks like from the outside is close to the truth.

4. Don’t focus all your attention on just one thing

Now, when you start to investigate all the aspects of a situation and you focus all your attention on just that one thing, there is a big possibility for you to get tensed about it and enter a state where you can’t see clear anymore. So, when you feel like you are too deep into the problem and even so, no matter from what perspective you are looking at the thing, everything looks the same and hopeless, just take a wise deep breath and a healthy step back and decompress for a bit.

5. Hope for the best, but expect for the worse

Last, but not least, it is very important to have a positive and optimistic mindset each time you are in a tense situation. The kind of attitude that makes you search for solutions and resolve the issue without ignoring the obstructions. Not the dreamy ones, which might not acknowledge the shortcomings and do not prepare you for what could be the worst case turn of the situation.

So, in conclusion, the most important things which you have to keep in mind in rough moments can be summed up into this: keep calm, be there, yet don’t let yourself be drawn into the whole mess and always keep your eyes open and your morale high.

Now, a reality check: think about it and tell us honestly, how many times did you experience a hard “punch” because something happened to you and you were not prepared for it, even though you could have been?