Parenthood has taught me a lot. One of the biggest lessons presented itself not very long after my son was born: The importance of letting go.
I’ve had to learn to let go and let him sleep in his own room; let go and let him cross the street to play; let go and let him walk to school; let go and let him choose his clothes, his wife, his own path. It’s a life-long process and I still have times I have to remind myself, hey, this is not about me, is it?
It’s easy to worry, feel disappointed, be irritated or get annoyed by someone’s actions or choices because they aren’t what we want or expect or what we think we know is right. It’s easy to see others and operate more from our own perspective or agenda rather than what is needed or important or best for the other person. And sometimes, when we do get what we want, we discover it wasn’t the best of all possibilities after all.
Expectations are like icebergs. Whether it’s the actions we expect co-workers to take, the recognition we think we deserve, or the careers we want our children to choose, we rarely see the depth of possibilities that exist just beneath the surface. When we attach ourselves to one outcome, we can’t see all that might eventually emerge if we just let it go.
We can save a tremendous amount of energy when we accept that people will not always act as expected or in ways that suit us. This doesn’t mean losing control; it means acknowledging that in most cases we’re not in control and don’t need to be for things to turn out okay.
Accept the unpredictable nature of life. Let go of expectations and view the world around you from a new and more spontaneous perspective. Be more flexible and ready to adapt and respond to whatever may come your way with more intelligence, more creativity and more balance.
Expect only the unexpected!