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How to Free Ourselves from “Great Expectations?”

Updated: Apr 26, 2022


A visual showing 2 paper boats choosing 2 different routes to reach a destination

“Intention provides agency and freedom to move beyond the limits of any expectation.”

-Berna Merih


Changing jobs requires bold decisions. With the Great Resignation, many have made bold decisions. Some succeeded in their moves. Others considered going back to their old jobs with a boomerang effect. So, what happened? What were the great expectations?


I remembered the famous novel by Charles Dickens, “Great Expectations.” It was about the pursuit of great expectations around money, fortune, and social status, through which the main character has gone through a personal development process where he learned the real value was in kindness, affection, and loyalty rather than fortune.


What I witness in people on the verge of changing jobs is that they have strong expectations that what is out there is better than what they have here. Or, they have some issues at work that they expect will never happen again when they land a different job in another workplace. This may be true for people who are self-aware and have done everything on their end to change things, starting with changing themselves. For others, it is just running away from themselves. They end up having similar issues when they change jobs. They run into what they were running away from.


What do you see when you look through the lens of expectations? How do they serve you?


Expectations are about others rather than us. Those emotional attachments to certain motives or passions make us stick to negative mindsets. Expectations limit our ability to use our sense of agency and our capacity. They arise from a place of powerlessness. Expectations may negatively influence our choices and decision-making.


When we set intentions rather than expectations, we empower ourselves. We see through the problems differently to create different paths for desirable outcomes. Setting an intention is an act of self-leadership. It gives us the resilient capacity to be conscious of ourselves in times of difficulty.


Intentions are our insurance that we are not running to what we are running away from.


I will continue my discussions around Great Expectations! Stay Tuned!


What is your intention for this week?


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