Wednesday, December 12, 2012

High Expectations

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything—all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure—these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important” (Steve Jobs).

How high should our expectations be?

For our children? For our family? For our job? For our church?

How high is too high?

How low is too low?

I will admit that I struggle with determining expectations, both for myself and others. I’ve always set high expectations for myself. Whether it was with my education or my work or even in my hobbies, I’ve tried to always aim for impossible heights. I figure if I don’t set high expectations for myself, no one else will.

But, should I have the same high expectations for other people? Maybe. Maybe not.

In truth, other people are responsible for what they do and don’t do in life—that’s not my job. In truth, other people determine how much education they get or high they climb the ladder in their chosen profession or how they live their every day life. Again, that’s not my job.

I have no right to place my expectations upon others. Not upon coworkers. Not upon my wife. Not upon my friends. Not upon anyone else.

I do think, however, that there is an intersection, where expectations meet. If I hire someone to do a job for me, they should do the job as I expect it to be done. If I am empowered to do a job, others should respect the work I’ve done and the decisions made. They may not agree with the decision, but they should respect my efforts.

Do I think our world would be a better place if everyone set higher expectations for themselves? For their work? By all means, yes! Do I have a right to enforce those expectations? By no means, I don’t.

So, we are left to decide what falls to the side and what things we set as priority. That’s a personal decision.

But, I challenge you to believe in yourself so much that you believe you can reach higher than ever before!

1 comment:

  1. The responsibilities for performing tasks associated with a job are one thing, of course. Other than that, the rest of it seems to be applying our standards of behavior to other folks, and the problem with that is there's only ever been one Standard to live up to, and we killed Him a couple thousand years ago.

    Frustrating part: He proved that we can live up to the standards He set up for us. That's encouraging right up to the point we make it discouraging.

    Of course there are laws, etc, but in most matters of behavior, we simply can't expect others to live up to our standards. And, can you imagine how dull it would be to live in a world populated exclusively by clones of ourselves?


Thank you for sharing your thoughts! I can't wait to read what you have written.