If we let go of expectations, we can never again be disappointed.
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Hello Andy, here I went from depressed and suicidal to living a life of abundance and joy. If I can do it, you sure as hell can too. A woman in my coaching program recently. We had a big discussion and she slept through a date, right, and she felt really bad about letting this guy down. So she planned a date that we're going to meet up and she had a big night and she slept through and missed the date, and so myself and everybody else in the group and her we had a big discussion about you know, you didn't mean to let the person down, it's okay, blah, blah, blah. We told her all that sort of stuff. But we ended up having this big discussion where I basically said, like, look, you didn't intend to let him down, you did your best, sent him an apology message and he'll either see you or he won't see you. You know, blah, blah, blah. But a mindset that's really helped me in situations like this is a mindset that comes from Buddhism, which is eventually everybody lets you down, and that might sound a little bit nihilistic on the surface, right? Like oh wow, everybody's eventually going to let me down, everybody in the world's going to disappoint me. But if you think about it a little bit and let it sort of marinate in your mind, it might bring a little bit of peace or you might be able to spot some beauty in the quote. Because, if you think about it, if everybody is eventually going to let you down and obviously people don't mean to let us down, but eventually everybody in the world if you spend enough time with them, they might accidentally or they're probably going to accidentally disappoint you or let you down. If it's inevitable, then you can kind of forgive them when it happens or step outside of that and realize that there was nothing even to forgive in the first place, because they're just acting in their nature, they're human. And you can kind of dig deep in there and go well, have I ever let anybody down in my entire life? Yes, we all have. We're all human and there can be some peace and beauty in that, there can be some acceptance of that, because you don't take it quite so personally, because it's probably something that's going to happen sooner or later. Right, we're all going to disappoint each other. That's kind of the nature of the human condition. And so I said to her you know if you can forgive yourself for the times, because I told her to think of sometimes in her life where maybe she's let other people down, and this is obviously one of them. You know she might feel like she's let this guy down by missing the date, by sleeping in. But I said, think of sometimes other people have disappointed you. Think of sometimes you've disappointed people. It's kind of just a thing that happens and so if you can forgive yourself or, sorry, you can forgive yourself for letting somebody else down, you're human, you didn't mean to, you were trying to do your best. You didn't intentionally waste somebody's time or screw them over, and I can say the same to all of you listening there's been times where you might disappoint someone, you might upset someone, you might make them feel scared, you might intimidate someone without really meaning to, and you can sort of forgive yourself by realizing that, yeah, everybody lets each other down. That's kind of the human condition or a better way of phrasing. That is, we tell a story that somebody disappointed us, we tell a story that this person let me down, and we'll talk about that in a second. But another quote that really helps me in those moments where I'm feeling a little bit guilty, like this woman in my coaching group was. You know she was feeling really bad about it. So in those moments, if I'm ever feeling some guilt or, you know, not feeling good about something that I did, a quote that really helps me is everybody is just doing their best, including you. Another mindset this one comes from Byron Katie, and the mindset is nobody can disappoint me. I tell a story of how they disappointed me and then I disappoint myself. In other words, and I said this to her if this particular guy that she missed the date with, if he or anyone else in the future feels let down by something that she has done, something that you know I said to her something you've done or they disappointed in you, then that's because they had expectations. Like, what is a disappointment? Have a little think right now as you listen to this. What does disappointment mean? A disappointment can only occur if you had an expectation. That's what disappointment is. Disappointment is when someone doesn't do something that you expected them to do, or disappointment comes when life doesn't do what you expected to do, or when you yourself don't do something that you expected yourself to do, and so, without any expectations, there is no disappointment. It is impossible to be disappointed if you don't have any expectations. But as soon as you start having expectations, you're setting yourself up for disappointment. And this is why I don't use words like should? I never say I should do this or he should do that or you shouldn't do this, because as soon as I do, I'm setting myself up for disappointment because I have an expectation and I've just found in life that people do whatever they're going to do. Life does whatever life wants to do. The universe has its own plan and if I sit there and say it should do this or it should go like this, I just set myself up for disappointment. There's an idea that I've been it's been bouncing around in my head and at some point I might do some content on it. I've, through my own sort of self discovery, I've come to see that the only time we suffer, it all boils down to one of three stories, and every single piece of suffering is a variation on one of these three stories. And the first story is I shouldn't, the second story is they shouldn't and the third story is it shouldn't, and every single bit of suffering comes down to one of those three stories. You can also rewrite those three stories as a should statement. You know I should, he should, or they should, it should. And every single time that I've ever suffered in my life it's because I was believing one of those three stories. You know, I was believing that I should, I should know better, I should be better, I should be stronger, I should blah, blah, blah, like some sort of should about myself or I should about someone else. He should respect me more. That person shouldn't write that comment. They should do this. My boss should be nicer to me. You know, blah, blah, blah or an it should. You know, like it should rain. It should be sunny today. It shouldn't rain today. It shouldn't be this difficult to do this thing. It should be. The universe should be more fair, like it, it should. So all suffering I have come to see is either I should or they should or it should, and a variation on one of those three things. But if you remove the shoulds, if you remove the expectations, if you have a little bit of humility when it comes to other people and yourself and life, there's no disappointment Because you didn't expect anything. You were just happy to go along for the ride and see what happens. You didn't expect anything from yourself, which is why I say statements like give yourself permission to suck. There's a great book by Brene Brown called the Gift of Imperfection and it's basically a book on that. It's a book on not having any shoulds or expectations on yourself. There's other stories that come up that mean that I suffer. You know like it should do that, this person should do that, they should do that. If I can let go of all of that and say other people are going to do whatever they want to do, the universe is going to go the way that the universe wants to go, life is going to go however life goes. If I can embrace that and just let go and be a bit more humble and say life doesn't have to go according to my plans, then I'm actually happier. And so, without expectations, without stories, we can't ever feel disappointed. And so all of this comes full circle to what I said to her, which was if somebody is disappointed in you like if this guy that you missed the date, if he's disappointed in you or he hates you or he doesn't want to speak to you again or whatever, that's his story. That's just because he was believing she should have shown up for that. She should have texted me and said that she was going to sleep in or she shouldn't have missed the date. It's his story and if he didn't have that story he wouldn't feel disappointed. It would literally be impossible to feel disappointed if he expected this woman to do whatever it is that she's going to do, including flaking, or if he just didn't have any expectations in the first place. He can't be disappointed. There's no disappointment. And so I said to her look, it's not the fact that you didn't show up that might feel disappointing for him, it's the story of she should show up or she shouldn't flake. That's what leads to the disappointment. And without any expectation there, if you're just going along with life and seeing what happens and obviously you know you have can you have some agency in that? You don't have. That's not a passive statement, but like if you drop all the expectations and Whatever happens in life happens and then you roll with the punches and you know you make some adjustments, you do what you want, all of that kind of stuff, but if you don't have the expectations in the first place, they can't be disappointment. You know what I mean. People are just gonna do whatever they're gonna do and if that involves them flaking on you, then they're gonna flake on you If that involves them showing up, and they're gonna show up and so if you take away the expectations, there's no disappointment. So you know, I said to her, like, basically, it's not your job to control whether or not he's disappointed in you. All you can really ever do is do your best. And if it's important to you not to flake, then yeah, do your best not to flake. But If, in the moments where you're not perfect, somebody is disappointed in you, you don't have any control over that. That's their thoughts, that's their feelings, that's what they're believing in, what they're thinking and what they're attaching to, and that's not good or bad or right or wrong or any of that. But it's not your business if they're disappointed in you. A lot of the time we tell a story that if somebody is disappointed in us, that that's our fault or we're bad or we shouldn't have done that, and we attached to it very strongly and obviously counter this with. You know, I counted this with trying to be as kind as I can and trying not to deliberately set out to disappoint people. You know I don't deliberately try to let people down. I try and be as kind as I can, I try and be as honest as I can. I try and show up to my commitments. But it's still inevitable that people will be disappointed in me, and so I can be okay with that because I can go well, I tried my best and if they're disappointed in me, that's their story and they're allowed to be disappointed in me. You know, we can zoom out and think about that a little bit. If somebody is disappointed in me, that's their right. I don't have the right to take away their disappointment. Now I might do something to say would you like to talk to me, would you like me to help with this? But I'm not gonna force it on them. I'm certainly not gonna feel uncomfortable because somebody else is disappointed in me. That's their God given right. They have the right to be disappointed in me. They have the right to expect me to do things that maybe I don't end up doing, and then they feel disappointed. They have the right to have expectations of me. I'm not trying to take that. I would never try to take their expectations away, but it certainly isn't my business if they then get disappointed. If they have an expectation and reality doesn't match up with that or I don't live excuse me, live up to that standard that they have set for me in their mind. They have imagined. If they are then disappointed, that's their story, that's their journey, that's their thing. That they're going through has zero to do with me. It's got nothing to do with me. All I did was not show up for a date. They can tell whatever story they would like to tell about that and that's their right. They can tell a story that I'm a flaker, that I'm lazy, that I'm stupid, that I'm bad, that I'm a bad person, all of that. They can tell those stories and I love that for them. Tell whichever stories they want to tell. But that isn't my Business, that isn't my thing to control. It's not up to me to get in their head and say don't be disappointed, blah, blah, blah. And that's what I was sort of Getting out here with her. I was saying you know, if he's going to be disappointed, then hey, that's beautiful, that's what's in his head, that's what's in. You know, that's what he's thinking and believing in that moment and it's not your right to take that away from him. It's not your right to defend or take it away or say, hey, don't feel disappointed, hey, I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry, obviously, still apologize, if you wish to, I would. I would, in that moment, apologize. I'd say I'm really sorry that I let you down. Would you like to Try again for another day or would you like to just leave it there and go separate ways and still make the apology? But whatever the person does after that, that's their right and it's not up to me to take that away. So yeah, further on the concept of People feeling disappointed, I guess is and I pointed this out to her like people, when we get disappointed, it's because we had an expectation of someone or something, or of ourselves. You know there's those three statements should you know they should, or I should, or it should, and when we have those expectations, basically within we've made those expectations up, right, like that's what an expectation is. An expectation is imagination. You've literally just invented the future. You don't know if it's going to turn out like that, but you're expecting it to. So it is a fantasy. Essentially, it's a fairy tale, and this happens a lot. Right, we tell fairy tales about other people, like of them living up to our fantasy, or living up to our ideals or living up to the stories that we tell about them. You know like you might have a friend who's always there for you and then you find yourself very disappointed the one day that they let you down. I would question that and examine that. And you have likely been telling yourself a fairy tale of my friend is always there for me and they always care about me, and the one time they want that for me, see something's changed, like he's supposed to always care about me. You were telling a fairy tale that your friend is perfect and can always be there for you 24, seven, all the time, and will never, ever disappoint you. That was a fairy tale. They didn't disappoint you, disappointed yourself. You told a fairy tale and fair enough, that's. You know what we do as human beings. We tell stories in our head. It's how we relate to the future. Because what is the future other than a fairy tale or a story? The future hasn't happened yet and it almost always doesn't turn out exactly the way you envisioned it in your mind. We're very bad at predicting the future, like we're basically awful at it and we're doing our best, but we we almost never get it correct, especially if you think far enough ahead. I'm gonna do a video on my YouTube channel in the next, I don't know a couple of weeks or so about like my five year plan, my five year vision for the future, because someone asked me that question recently, like Andy, what do you see yourself in five years? And essentially what I'm gonna say in this video is like I don't fucking know anything I would say about where I'm gonna be in five years is just me telling a fucking story. It's me telling a fairy tale. I'm just making shit up Like how the hell could I know where I'm gonna be in five years? And so we're very. We just don't have a very high percentage like accuracy rate when we predict the future. And yet we do it all the time, we do it constantly. Like some people just live in the future, other people will live in the past and the trick or it's not really a trick, but the awakening, the realization of happiness is happiness is just living in the moment, right now, and going, you know what? The past that's already over the future. I don't fucking know what's gonna happen in the future. I'm just gonna focus on right now. That's a secret to happiness. Like all of the content that I'm ever gonna do in my entire life boils down to that statement I just said. You're making up the past is already fucking happened and you retroactively retell the story of the past. Anyway, the past isn't the way that most of us remember it. We're not objective about the past. Right, we tell stories, we have emotions, all of that. We look black, sometimes with rose tinted glasses, or other times will look back like what we I don't know that we're, I don't know that it's possible to be completely objective. I just don't know if that's possible. And so the past is just a retelling of events. The future is just made up, events that usually don't come to fruition, at least not exactly the way that we envision them. What else do you have other than this moment right now? And so if you can just do that, if you can get that concept that I just said, congratulations. You don't need to listen to anything else that I will ever say for the rest of my life, ever. If you can just go, you know what man. I'm going to let go of the past and I'm not going to worry about the future. I'm just going to focus on right now. Congratulations, you're enlightened, literally, congratulations. That is literally Buddhism to a T Buddha. You know the founder of Buddhism, I guess you could say Buddha literally talked about like each one of us has something that he called a Buddha nature, and I can sort of summarize all of it by saying if you want to get in touch with your Buddha nature like in other words, if you want to become enlightened, literally just realize that all you have is right now, this moment, and don't even worry about enlightenment, like that was kind of. His big teaching was like don't fucking worry about enlightenment, just focus on right now. Byron Katie says the same shit, david Hawkins says the same shit. All of these people talk about the same fucking concept. Mother Teresa talked about this shit. It's like focus on right now. Congratulations, good job. You do want a great job, that's it, that's all the fucking matters. So, yeah, anyway, a little bit of a side tangent there. But when we tell a fairy tale of what the future is going to be like, or when we tell this, you know, made up story of how we expect someone to behave, you know, like my friend is always going to be there for me when reality doesn't match up with that, which it rarely ever does, like reality is doing its own shit, you know, the universe has other plans, it doesn't need your adorable, cute little fairy tale of how you think it should run. You know, byron Katie has this quote that I love. She says who needs God? When we have your opinion and it's like, yeah, and most of the time our opinion is complete, not a horse shit. Anyway, we're doing our best but our opinion is, let's be honest, like complete fucking dog shit. Like my opinion is complete dog shit. I'm sitting here on this podcast telling you that right now my opinion on most things is like just, I don't know, it's like a fucking childlike, naive little opinion. Even this podcast right now is me just, in my childlike attempts to understand and explain the universe, me clumsily stumbling through language to try and get something across to you which I'm going to miss, say you're going to misunderstand and miss here. Like we're clumsy, we're cute, adorable, beautiful little children trying to just stumble our way through life with our cute little opinions. And when we put those opinions on someone else and say, ok, this is how this person is going to behave in the future, my friend's always going to be there for me. This girl better not flake on me. I'm going to be really disappointed if my boss doesn't give me a pay rise. You know I better lose weight because I'm trying really hard. My body better respond. You know it should respond. These should statements, these cute, childlike, naive, beautiful little stories and fairy tales that we tell of what the future is going to be like. We're setting ourselves up for disappointment. We're basically guaranteeing fucking disappointment, right? We're like literally ensuring that we're going to be disappointed when we try and predict the future. That's why I say fuck the future. Like the future is beautiful and obviously you can set goals and work towards them and all of that beautiful stuff. But don't tell yourself some gay ass fucking fairy tale Excuse my non PC fucking language there. Don't tell yourself some dumb ass fairy tale of how, in the future, you know you're going to be happy. It's like that's a load of bullshit. You just made that up. Why don't you be happy right now? Like how the fuck do you know that when you know I saw some YouTube comment yesterday a couple of guys were talking on my YouTube channel and you know they were having this discussion and one of them said you know, sometimes I feel like if I have sex with 50 women, that I'll be happy, I'll be happy, and I read that and you know I was gentle and nice in my reply, but I read that and I'm like fuck off, you don't know that you're going to be happy when you have sex with 50 women. I'll tell you right now if you're not happy right now, you're not going to be happy when you have sex with 50 women. Having sex with 50 women is not the key that just unlocks happiness. No, the way that you're happy is you focus on the journey to get towards 50 women. If you want to have sex with 50 women amazing, beautiful, what a great goal Go for it, but be happy on that journey. Don't just, like, think that you get to show up at the destination, not having practiced being happy. You'll show up at the destination and just suddenly, like God or the universe or something, will come down from the clouds and hand you happiness on a silver platter and go there, you go, here, you go. Here's happiness. Even if that did happen, you will clumsily fumble it and fuck it up because you don't know how to be happy, and what you will do is you will just set the next goal. That's called moving the goalposts, by the way, you'll just you'll find yourself unhappy or you'll find yourself not fully satisfied, like you thought that having sex with 50 women was like the meaning of fucking life or something. You thought that that shit was going to bring you deep satisfaction for the rest of your life. Oh, my goodness, like what a lie, what a beautiful fairy tale to tell yourself. And then that's not going to make you happy, unless you focus on the journey and enjoy the journey, like, in other words, focus on the present moment. But if you don't do that, if you just think that having sex with 50 women is somehow like a little tick in a checkbox, that's gonna make you little fucking. You know you're gonna get a little pat on the head from the universe or something. No, like you get they. You have sex with those 50 women. You go. Why do I still feel unhappy? That didn't work. Okay, fuck, maybe I need more money. You go make more money, shit. Why don't I feel happy? Fuck, maybe I'll be happy when I go and go to the gym and build an elite body and you spend your entire life like a dog chasing a car or something and by the time the dog catches the car, it catches it and it doesn't know what the hell to do now. It doesn't know what to do with the car that it just caught. That's you. Well, that's that, that is us, if we don't Enjoy the goddamn present while we're doing those things. And so, again, to really, you know, make it clear having a goal of having sex with 50 partners. I mean, if that's important to you, that's absolutely beautiful. I got a lot of joy and beauty and connection and self improvement, self development, a lot of happiness from having sex with as many women as I've had at this point in time, which is, you know, I've lost count, but I only was happy doing all of that because I enjoyed the process and because I didn't tell myself the lie of I'll be happy when I do those things. I told myself I'll be Ultra excited, like I'll have a big smile on my face. You'll be happy when I achieve them. But that doesn't mean that I'm not happy right now. I'll be just as happy right now While working on these goals and then when I achieve them and I'll be so excited, I'll be so joyful. I'll be it. Man, I can't wait, I'm so excited and I'm gonna enjoy the present moment. So, you know, maybe all of that makes sense. If it doesn't, that's cool. I talk more about this stuff in the video course that I just released, played a win, how I built a winners mindset, so I'll leave a link in the description below to that. I talk a lot more about these, the kind of nuances with these conversations. But, yeah, if we can let go of the expectations of the future and how life should go or our goal should go, or how other people should treat us, and everybody should let us down, blah, blah, blah, we're actually a lot happier and if we can fully embrace that. But is a mindset that I said at the start of like you know, eventually everybody lets you down maybe a rewriting of that Like I would reframe that or rewrite that slightly to say like you know, eventually you're probably gonna tell a story of how everybody has let you down, something like that. The Buddhism quote is obviously more eloquent and elegant and shorter and concise. So that is the way that it is. But you know you can kind of think of it like that. It's not that everyone's going to disappoint you, it's that everyone in the world is going to do something that you didn't expect them to, and so the issue isn't with other people not doing what you want. You know, good luck trying to control the entire rest of the universe, right, the universe and everybody else in it doesn't really give a fuck about your opinion. You know, like, who needs God. When we have your opinion, everybody is going to do whatever they're going to do. And if you can try your best to let go of a lot of those expectations and that's a process that took me quite a few years but if you can do it, man, happiness and peace is waiting for you on the other side of that, like, there's something absolutely so amazingly beautiful. If you can just not have expectations or try your best to have as few expectations as possible of other people and of yourself and of the universe, so if you can really embrace that mindset that I talk about, a lot of like, give yourself permission to suck, and then, if you can take it one step further and say I'm going to give other people permission to suck. And then if you can take it one step further and say, wait, how do I even know that they're sucking? How do I even know that I'm sucking? I'm just doing my best and they're just doing their best. You know, like everybody's doing the best that they possibly can, and who am I to say that they did a bad job or that they shouldn't have done that thing and that I shouldn't have done this thing and that I should have been better and they should have been better? Like, who needs God when we have my shitty opinion? My little child, like beautiful, innocent, naive opinion yeah, if you can just let go of opinions and expectations, man, my God, is life just a beautiful fucking gift. And you wake up every day and you just watch, you just notice and you just observe yourself and people and the universe doing what they were going to do anyway, regardless of what your beautiful child, like naive, little, innocent opinion wanted them to do or thought they should do. You're filled with this sense of, or I'm filled with this sense of beauty and peace and I just watch people doing whatever the hell that they want to do, whether that's disappointing me not that I feel disappointed, but whether that's them doing something that maybe I didn't want them to do, whether it's people going to war with each other and, you know, people killing each other and people murdering and raping, like they're just doing what they are going to do. And if I don't have an opinion on what they should do or what they shouldn't do. I don't suffer anymore. You know, I don't suffer watching the news going they shouldn't do this. I don't suffer watching the government do whatever they're going to do and going they shouldn't do that. I don't suffer watching people leave negative comments on my YouTube channel going they shouldn't have written that. They should have been nicer to me. Like there's just no suffering if I lack of expectations and lack of those stories of like they should do this or I should do this or it should be like this. So if you want a little more about these sort of mindset shifts towards peace and letting go and you know, I guess surrendering and it's not so much surrendering but I like that word but like letting go of some of the stress and disappointment in lives and stuff, like I said, my video course covers this a lot and pay whatever price that you would like for it, even if that's literally just $1. I don't want the thoughts and the philosophies and stuff in it to be locked behind a paywall, so I've made it pay whatever you want, even if that's literally a dollar. Just pay a dollar, but I really recommend that. I also offer coaching If you would like that. There is a link in the description below to that. As always, ladies and gentlemen, go out there, crush those goals, but enjoy the process. You know what I mean Like enjoy the right now, because that's all there really is. There is no future. At least okay, it's probably not going to turn out the way that you think it will. The past is your weird interpretation, or innocent interpretation of it. The present is really all we have. So crush those goals, work towards them, but have a giant, beautiful, big smile on your face while you do. And if you don't have a big smile on your face, that's okay too.