Thursday, February 12, 2009

Always expect the worst and you'll never be disappointed.

Recently, and not for the first time, someone said to me, "Always expect the worst and you will never be disappointed." That is a heck of a statement, isn't it? I know that they meant well and what they were really saying is that they hoped that I could avoid the pain so often associated with disappointment.
The fact is that there are many people who approach life from this perspective and although there is an element of truth to it, it is not a truth that I want to live by.

I always hope for and expect the best. If things don’t work out as I had originally hoped or expected, than I figure that there must be reason for it and look to learn from the event itself. Am I ever disappointed? Sure. But disappointments are one of the ways we learn and one of life’s ways of teaching us.’ When we are able to maintain a perspective of learning from all of life’s events, then we can see the value in each of our disappointments too.

“Always expecting the worst” deprives one of the opportunity to learn. If one expects the worst, then what is to be gained from not getting it? Nothing.

When one expects the worst, they are also deprived of another opportunity and that is the opportunity for “HOPE”. “Hope” may be one of the best experiences available to us in life. It is what dreams are made of. It is what lands people on the moon and cures diseases and ends wars. It is a driving force that shapes lives, builds futures and makes our world a better place. “Hope” is what happy people have and do.

Hope encourages us. Expecting the worst does not. Hope energizes us. Expecting the worst does not. Hope uplifts us and the people around us. Expecting the worst does not.

Disappointment teaches, builds character and is quite often the best thing that could happen to us. Expecting disappointment or expecting the worst does not offer these benefits.

I certainly understand why people hate to be disappointed. But you know what may be worse than being disappointed? Missing any opportunity for hope and learning that life has to offer.

Putting it another way, “always expecting the worst” may be one of the worst things you could do.

Participate. Make a difference. Live a life that matters.

23 comments:

  1. You are so right, Michael. My motto has always been "Plan for the worst, and hope for the best." My theory being that once you've covered all the worst case scenarios with an action plan, then you don't have to give them any more of your energy. You feel confident that you'll know what to do when/if the time comes.

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  2. Always expect the best can result in the best happening.

    Much better than expecting the worse and somehow making it happen to.

    When I realised that my role was still important was seeing the consequences of my bcoming depressed on us.

    It would have been horrendous,we would be totally depressed plus the wound would heal slower and it would be a downward spiral.

    Expect the best and hope fcr even better.

    Love,
    Herrad

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  3. Always expect the best can result in the best happening.

    Much better than expecting the worse and somehow making it happen to.

    When I realised that my role was still important was seeing the consequences of my bcoming depressed on us.

    It would have been horrendous,we would be depressed plus the wound would heal slower and it would be a downward spiral.

    Expect the best and hope fcr even better.

    Love,
    Herrad

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  4. oops can you please delete the double comment Michael.
    Love,
    Herrad

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  5. You are right on! Always look at the bright side no matter how dim it may appear. You are a great encouragement Michael!
    Joel Young

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  6. At my job I have to expect the worse. Then when it is so, I am not so let down with disappointment in the night going as I would wish. If I go in expecting the best I would come home many nights beaten down.

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  7. I am so glad to have found this blog this morning. Thank you for sharing. I think this is so appropriate for any and all whether they are fighting a battle like MS or (in my case) RA and Fibro- of if they just need a reminder that living the positive life will take you much farther than immersing yourself in negativity.

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  8. I do not agree with how you look at it. I have this view on life it does not mean do not have expectations or dreams it means if your in a situation and you expect it to go bad if it does you arent dissapointed, But if it turns out ok then you are happier than it means more to you than it normally would. Does not mean look down on life, Just do not expect the best out of ALL situations. Common sense thinking in my opinion. Just know when not to expect things to go well, weigh your options.

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  9. Looking at things positively will make your life happy and more blessed because it only means that you believe in GOD and you have faith in Him. :)

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  10. Load of bollocks. There's no point getting your hopes up only to get them dashed.

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    1. You got that right. That is why I gave up on hope.

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  11. IF YOU ARE REALLY TOO NAIVE TO UNDERSTAND this long taught RULE, I WILL EXPLAIN.... if you're driving the kids to school, if you're hiking in the woods, skiing in a remote area, swimming in a stream or river, walking after dark... going on vacation to the middle east! You see, you must look at the worst case scenario or you will be simply unprepared, and could be putting yourself and others in danger..so kids, let's go CHASE BUTTERFLIES, but first, GO BACK TO SCHOOL. !

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  12. so, we should all think like you

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  13. "Always expect the worst, you will never be dissapointed."
    To me it means that if you Always expect the worst that can happen, then you'll be happily surprised when it doesn't and you'll also find that when it actually does, you're that much more prepared to handle a bad situation.
    The important thing is knowing your limit, what you can and can't do to prevent the worst possible scenario from happening.

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  14. It's from H. L. Menkin. It means that if you expect the worst, then that's what you'll get

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  15. Having optimism is a good thing but too much of it can actually be a bad thing. If we hope for the best and expect good out of everything, we are setting ourselves up for failure and disappointment. And if we ignore preparing for the worst because we are stuck in that optimistic state of mind depite warning signs, then we will be doomed if things actually do go wrong. The possibility of things going wrong cannot be ignored. Life is not always going to be a bed of roses. Life is in fact a bed of rose bushes that the optimist will fall in and get poked up by its thorns if he/she not careful with optimism. You have to sometimes look at the negative side too because in reality, everything is not always going to be positive.

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  16. I disagree with this article. "Expect the worst and you won't be disappointed" may be heck of a statement but it is the truth. The truth is not always pretty. Sooner or later you'll hear it again. That's life. Everything is not always going to go according to plan. In the military, we can't always hope for the best and expect the best and ingnore the worst. That is how soldiers get seriously injured, shot up, get killed and die because the unit was unprepared for the worst that could happen during the most deadliest missions the army can put troops through. Scary isn't it? So preparing for the worst can actually save lives in dangerous situations and keep multiple tragedies at bay. Too much optimism about anything and everything is a catastrophe waiting to happen in the end if preparing for the worst is ignored.

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  17. If you expect the worse; it will constantly be on your mind and may even gauge you to learn more about what it is you're worrying about, it perhaps may even give you the will to give it your best, it's not at all a bad statement, it depends on your though process, the author of this article is very narrow minded so he will never grasp it's true meaning.

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  19. This magical "Hope" we are told to hang on to is nothing more than a delusional device that magically something will change, people hang on to "Hope" when they have lost control of circumstance and no longer have any reasonable means of changing things.
    Don't believe me? watch the news (for example) and see in just what context the word "hope" is applied and to what people.

    Taking the absolutism of this statement "Always expect the worst" and being an eternal pessimist is a much healthier the exact opposite "Always expect the best" which is a set of behaviors that are much more likely to lead to dysfunctional life or more likely death.

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    1. You know something? I hate this article. Not because the author meant well when he wrote it. It is because hoping for the best and expecting even better is not for everyone. If we dive into every situation with great hopes and expectations, we are sure on the road to misery. It is a vicious circle. Let me explain the following scenarios: 1. You are hoping and expectating to get the job after you apply for it and you believe you make a great fit for the position based on your qualifications. But you are disappointed because you didn't get the job. 2. You and a new significant other plan a date on a Saturday. You hope and expect him/her to show up. Then later you are angry because he/she didn't keep his/her word. 3. You are a straight A student with excellent classroom conduct. Because of this, you hope and expect to get the Student of the Month award because you feel that you deserve it. Then you are disgruntled when another student gets it instead of you. 4. You are expecting your flight to arrive on time. But then you are furious and argue with the airport staff because your flight was cancelled. As you can see in these scenarios, hoping for and expecting the best can hurt us emotionally and mentally over time. Too much of a good thing can be bad and take a turn for the worst instead of lift our mood. This extreme optimism can drive us to depression, anxiety, and insanity. This is the dark side of optimism that will hurt us if we are not careful.

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  20. I'm 60 years old. I have never caught a break. I have learned to expect the worst. that way when failure happens as if always will, the pain won't be as great.

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  21. Part two from my last post on July 15, 2017
    You see, when we hope for and expect the best, we trick ourselves into believing that we have already obtained our goals. We are lying to ourselves when we tell ourselves we will get the job after we submit our application and resume. We ignore the reality that we do not know if we are going to get the job or not because we believe we make a good fit for the position. Our overexcitement over meeting our significant other tricks us into believing he or she is the one at the expence of what is happening now. Now this idealistic optimism gets us in emotional and mental trouble in the long run because we are stuck in fantasyland imaging us going on dates and enjoying each other, believing we can feel the chemistry of each other and that this "relationship" will work out, and imagining us getting married with wedding bells surrounding us. While these fantasies may be pleasant now until reality strikes. Then we become deeply disappointed and depressed when our high expectations of him or her go unmet. That, my friend, is the dark consequences of ignoring the reality that we don't even know this man/woman's character and intentions, that he or she may not even like us like that, and that he/she may be untrustworthy and not good for us. It is what we refuse to learn about him/her in the beginning that can hurt us emotionally and mentally in the end when our hopes and expectations for the best is too high and out of reality. We are lying to ourselves when we believe good things should come our way when we do good things and work hard even as a student. When another student gets Student of the Month we are unpleasantly surprised. Our optimism in this case becomes self-absorption.We complain that it is unfair and wsay we have a high gpa, straight A's, been a model student in our class, and have perfect attendance, not even one lame tardy or absenteeism. How come he/she got student of the month and not us? We were so caught up in our own righteousness in this case that we have blocked out the reality of apples and oranges. While our straight A's, good classroom conduct all year, and perfect attendance seems to make us great candidates to receive the Student of the Month award, we do not know what else the other student who earned it has done to get it. The student may have had less than good grades, unsatisfactory classroom behavior, and a handful of absenteeisms and tardys. But on the flip side there is more to it than that.The student may have decided to redeem him/herself and start doing better in school and Want to do better by seeking after school tutoring in subjects he or she is having trouble in, staying encouraged to show up for school on time and attend classes with the right adult role models at home and school in his/her life, and staying out of trouble by leaving the friends who were not good for him/her to hang around, improving grades and classroom behavior. It takes some time to start doing well but the student is working hard on it. Earning that Student of the Month award gives the student on the verge of getting held back a chance to want to do well at school. And that is Student of the Month-worthy because it is remarkable for a student to turn from old ways for the better with the support of teachers and adults in their lives at home who care about them.

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