It’s interesting that as we get older our dreams become replaced by the development of what we perceive to be risk management skills. We pride ourselves in these skills and, however inaccurate of an assessment this may be, we like to view and portray this as aged wisdom. There is some truth to this process taking place, but there is a more sinister and debilitating side to this coin.
If you are older than 25 years of age, you are most likely gun shy in one area of your life or another. If you are over 35, that number stands to be considerably larger. Sure we gain wisdom and exercise caution as we approach certain things; however, that is not all we tend to gain as we navigate through life. I would suggest that we have found a very clever way to disguise fear as wisdom and over analyzing things as due diligence.
As I write this, I can almost hear the thoughts of those of you reading this ready to defend your position, and to be honest I’m one of those people myself at times as well. Our past challenges have caused us to adjust our expectations in life. We lower our expectations in order to “effectively” manage the frequency and intensity of the disappointment we experience in life.
What if the alternative wasn’t to avoid disappointment, but to embrace the strength we gain from responding to disappointment in a more healthy way? When we see the possibility of encountering a challenge with which we have wrestled in our past and lost, we have a tendency to imagine that things will happen the exact same way; which is not a very reasonable assumption.
What are some differences between how you do life now and how you did life 10 years ago? We are multi-faceted individuals who have adjustments in environment, influences, personality traits and a host of other things that contribute to our decision making process. Do you believe everything that you believed 10 years ago? Do you have the same perspective on all the same issues you had 10 years ago?
Our perspectives influence our beliefs and our beliefs influence our actions. Our actions are the fodder which feeds our future. By assuming that everything will play out exactly the same as it did in the past is a very limiting perspective indeed. Don’t let the attempt of managing disappointment allow you to limit your possibilities. Don’t limit yourself by lowering your expectations. Reasonable expectations are not the same as fear based excuses.
Raise your expectations and dream bigger. Of course you need to use wisdom, but don’t use wisdom as some lame excuse to remain stationary in your life. Don’t allow wisdom to become an excuse to not live beyond what is comfortable for where you are right now. We can all do something bigger, something more. The ones who actually see results are the ones who don’t try to use wisdom as an excuse to lower their expectations. Life isn't perfect and scripted, so we will always have unmet expectations, but we are able to prepare ourselves for how we choose to respond to unmet expectations.
Your entire future lies before you each day that you get out of bed, so it’s never too late for anything. Your present choices are the currency of your future dreams becoming reality. Don’t be crippled by the fear of disappointment. Be excited by the uncertainty of your limitations in life. If one can’t define their limitations, then there is little that can stop them from doing great things. Life’s short, so live fully!
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