Thursday, June 12, 2008

Expectations Reduce Joy!

Someone once told me not to set high expectations because "expectations reduce joy". I never understood the meaning of that phrase till today. How can you not have expectations? How would you succeed in life if you didn't set high expectations of yourself and other's around you. Isn't that what we have been taught as children?

For the last many years, I have been performing my karma yoga by helping others. But deep down I had expectations from who I helped. I expected them to perform and deliver in a certain way. The intention to help or give them a chance was a good one, but there was an expectation of a return. Many a times I was disappointed in them as they didnt perform or deliver to my expectations.

Last year I decided to work with some folks with their future careers as their mentor. This mentoring was complete altruistic. I had no expectations whatsoever. I simply invested my time and mind share as an act of giving back to the universe and sharing what I knew. They absorbed my advice and wisdom like sponges. Today they gave me something - a gift, a token of appreciation, something I never asked for nor expected, as I was truly neutral and true to my altruistic intentions.

It was not what they gave me, it was the act of giving back that touched me and brought me so much joy. It made it all worthwhile, as in that moment all the heartache and painI have suffered these last many months disappeared. This was an act of a true yogi on their part. The act of giving with no expectations brings so much joy - it breeds giving in return. Its viral and it spreads leaps and bounds. Their act of giving is an indicator that they too will spread joy and giving with no expectations. This is truly viral.

You really do reap what you sow in this instance. You get back from the universe what you give to the universe. Its not material - you cannot put any value on joy in your life, no matter how momentary it is. It cannot be bought and it cannot be sold, it can only be shared and you feel it the most when you have no expectations. I finally understood why "expectations reduce joy"!


The Yogi

No comments: