Being a dad has literally been the single greatest gift of my entire life. And in addition to having these two amazing little people to walk through life with laughing all the way, I am also finding that witnessing their reactions to the world around them has shown me a lot about myself as well. I”™m grateful daily for all of the experiences i have had with them and hope for a hundred more years of it !
This week (if you don”™t live in Denver and already know) we were POUNDED with a Spring Blizzard. This is pretty typical for Denver and I have personally seen it happen 5 times in 20 years that I have been here. 75 degrees a few days ago and today I”™m looking at 2 feet of the heaviest snow you”™ve ever seen !! But the bright side is it”™s been the best way to create some incredible memories =) Blueberry Pancakes for Breakfast, FRESH homemade chocolate chip cookies after some hard work shoveling snow, and now back under the blankets for a few movies before bed. The kids and i have a great life, that”™s for sure. It”™s everything I could ever ask for...........but NOT what I expected. You see, my “expectations” were that I would be doing these things along side my partner, wife, and best friend. But life has a way of realigning things that don”™t always fit with your original “Expectations.” And you know what, sometimes it takes a little while before you can understand that life did in fact know what was best for you =)
So for this week, I wanted to take a spinning related topic and tie it in with the personal side of “expectations.” And in typical form, I will try and give “my” take on the idea of expectations and explain how I am using this idea to further my journey towards a greater, fuller, life !! =)
So I”™ve already explained my “personal” thoughts on expectations, but here is an example of how I witnessed “expectations” this week in relation to spinning.
I”™m fortunate enough to be at a club who just got brand new bikes for the second time in just over a year. We are now moving to using Power and so this second set of bikes is going to help the instructors teach more accurately. And since I am not here to promote any gym or manufacturer of bikes, I won”™t say the kind of bikes. But I will say these are without a doubt the best bike I have ridden in 20 years. In addition, in 20 years I have seen new bikes delivered close to 10 times and each time have witnesses a near meltdown each time from the members. It seems that the expectations almost always exceed what is actually delivered. And some years, I agreed. Some bikes weren”™t always accepted right away because let”™s face it, no one likes change.
This set of bikes have only been on site for a couple of weeks and without a doubt have been the fastest and most accepted bike that I have seen in 20 years. Easily 90% or more LOVE these things..........but there”™s still that 10% who are picking them apart for some of the silliest things. It”™s as if they can”™t help but look for the negatives no matter how many positives there are. And personally, I am so impressed with the positives that I find the negatives so minor and wonder why people can”™t just enjoy the gift. And so it got me thinking...........thinking deeply about that word expectations and how it is probably the root cause of so much sadness and emptiness in this world. So I”™m going to make a bold assumption/statement and suggest a solution that may not be politically correct or widely accepted. So here goes.......
So have you ever wondered if our (the majority of the people in the US) “expectations” are too high ? I never thought I would be one of those people who blamed TV and Media for the worlds woes, but I”™m starting to wonder. I mean, I came from the Nancy Reagan error where she told us that a certain kind of music caused us to take drugs. Or the Dan Quail error (or Maybe it was Al Gore) who warned us about “Family Values” being a thing of the past ! And each time I heard it, especially from Nancy Reagan because I was a Hair Band Heavy Metal guy and didn”™t want to hear that my Ozzie and Judist Priest were going to cause me to go to hell lol But as I sit here now, I have to ask myself if maybe some of what they say is true ??
The reason I find myself thinking from this much different perspective now is because I am honestly starting to believe that we are fed so much crap on TV about how easy it is to get famous, Rich, and have it all, YET no one is teaching anyone how to do it the right way. What ever happened to hard work and dedication ? And what ever happened to finding your talent or passion and working it until you found success ? I feel like so much of the younger generation have this kind of Entitlement feeling and worse than that, this attitude like it”™s supposed to be easy and if you don”™t achieve it right away then they give up and bitch and complain.
Turn on the TV any time of the day and I have no doubt that no matter who you are or where you live, you will be able to EASILY find 5 shows that are glamorizing life by showing opulent wealth and easy living, but not a dam explanation of how the person got any of it. “Real Housewives?” Really ?? What”™s so real about them ?? Or how about the versions of Jersey Shore, Shaws of LA, all of the realtor shows where the realtor makes a single sale and grosses $250,000 !?!?!?!? I mean think about that !! If your a young person now a days who never saw (like I did) a Grandfather who worked 3 jobs, got up every day at 4:30 am to deliver mail. And on retirement got a gold watch and was absolutely over the top grateful for it !!!! I think most 25 year old these days would look at that and laugh. They could never understand how that could be how my grandfather defined success for himself. But the youth today act as if the want instant fame, instant success, they don”™t want to have to work for it and if they HAVE to work for it than they don”™t want to work long and they sure as hell don”™t expect to fail. And of course if they do, well it”™s not their fault, it”™s someone else's. Could it be that we have taught ourselves to have “expectations” that are always unreachable and is that the cause of so much sadness in the world ? I mean, are we all setting the bar above what we can actually achieve and therefore setting ourselves up for constant failure and emptiness ??
So my lesson to myself this week goes something like this. I am going to accept all of my current situations just as they are. I am going to re-evaluate the list of expectations i have for myself and my life, and I am going to be sure that I”™m being realistic in those expectations. And for those who think this is the equivalent of “Sand Bagging” life and making it easy to succeed, i would day this; “Do you want to be fulfilled or do you want to spend your life complaining about all the things you didn”™t get ? I truly believe that finding more realistic expectations for yourself and the people around you will create much more of an abundant life. Instead of defining success as “having all the things Kim Kardashian has” define it by how happy you are on a daily basis with what you already have! Look at the Kardashians and all of their “success and wealth” and ask yourself “what did they do to get all of that !?” Seriously, for my generation who saw what it took for our grandparents to be able to buy a home and put kids through school, it”™s absolutely MADDENING to turn on the TV and see these spoiled Rotten women with no talent who are providing nothing of substance to the world who make more in one day for doing nothing than my Grandfather did on his best year.
So my plan is to set expectations that are just out of reach “BUT ARE ATTAINABLE” if i put the work in to achieve those things. No more unrealistic expectations and no more “wishing it into existence.” From now on I”™m focused on reaching ALL my goals and I am done beating myself up for not attaining the ones that may have been a little too aggressive based on my current situation in life. I haven”™t given up my my largest and wildest dreams, BUT I think I”™m going to collect a few wins in my basket before I beat myself up too much over the out of reach things that haven”™t hit yet. Will you join me ?
Jay K. Duplessie
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