The topic for today is all about lowering your expectations. I know that’s not very NLP of me because you know a lot of NLP is focus on the positives and it’s just really unrealistic because life does not serve us in that way.
Sometimes it’s helpful to be a bit more realistic about the serving that you’re going to get in this thing called life but in addition, it can actually be really helpful if you lower your expectations completely because when you do, you actually start to get impressed by everyday stuff, like a butterfly. If you have lowered your expectations of what a good day should be and you see a butterfly, it’s already a good day, happy times granted.
I went to my mum’s house and she lives in a council house in quite a suburban area right next to the main road and a massive pheasant showed up in the garden, she named him Fred the pheasant and he stayed in the garden for a good couple of hours and was absolutely beautiful, the chances of seeing a bird like that in her garden are slim to none and it’s never happened before.
We’ve got a hypnotherapy diploma training coming up in the next few weeks and the training is going to be taking place at a hotel that I used to use years and years ago and haven’t used in a very long time. The reason why we switched was because they kept putting their prices up but because they came to know me quite well and they knew that I knew my way around the place they became a little bit lazy in their service, so they would maybe neglected to refresh the halfway through the day and then as the trainer I was also empty in the bins and going off to fetch more teas and coffees for people.
However every year they still put the prices up even though the service was decreasing so we switched to a different venue but unfortunately we’ve got to go back to the old venue for just one week as our new venue is currently booked up for the week where we have training taking place. We were going to be going back to the Holiday Inn instead of using The Boxmore trust where we usually use their facilities for training.
Going back to the Holiday Inn reminded me of an incident that happened there one day which, now I look back on and laugh but at the time left me somewhat perplexed. I had gone into the room that morning and discovered that whilst we had teas and coffees available for the delegates, we didn’t have any milk! So I went upstairs to the reception desk and there was a guy on reception who, you know how it is when your mind is really busy, perhaps doing something completely different and then somebody drops you out of that moment with a question, which you were not expecting. I think in hindsight that’s probably what happened to him that day, I approached the desk and said “Morning, would it be okay if we could have some milk?” and he looked up at me and said “what do you mean milk?” and then I was confused, I mean when I’ve asked for milk before no one has said what do you mean milk, so I said “like the kind from a cow” and he then looked a little bit irritated by this. He then said for “what purpose do you need the milk?” and I said for the tea.
At this point in time, I’m thinking to myself, this is fairly obvious no? so then he responds with “what do you want me to put it in?” and “I said I don’t know? a jug or the little plastic cups, something like that?” At which point he stormed off and he went and got the milk, so you know I got the job done but it was just a very bizarre conversation and it was just the perfect embodiment of what my experience of using that venue was actually like. The reason why I’m sharing this with you is because I had an expectation that we’re paying quite a lot of money for this venue now, therefore, I expect the service to be pristine, like on the money but that was not the experience that happened. In reality, what happened was that I was often dealing with confused people who didn’t really know what was going on and who was sometimes quite rude to us and now I have to go back to this venue again.
The point is that I’m not going in with an expectation of perfection because if I do then I will spend a week being disappointed instead I’m going in with an expectation of having a great time on the training and having some fun with my delegates and probably just kind of making our way through and making do with the venue that we have. If you can make your expectations of other people or life in general not just realistic but actually a little bit lower then you give yourself more opportunities for pleasant surprises and for discovering ways in which you can become satisfied that you didn’t even know that you could.
It can be helpful to be satisfied with the little things in life and although in NLP we encourage you to dream big, set big goals for yourself, to keep yourself occupied, I personally feel that sometimes that can take some of the smaller and actually quite fundamentally important things in life away from our attention. If you can be inspired or feel happy because you went outside in nature and you saw the first daffodil of spring or because you saw a bird that is quite rare and you haven’t seen it for a while or something like that if you can do those sorts of things and still
get a sense of satisfaction then that is a successful accomplishment, that means
that you’ve been able to find appreciation in the smaller things in life and have perhaps lowered your expectations of what having a good day looks like