"Trade your expectations for appreciation and your whole world changes in an instant." I recently read this quote from Tony Robbins whilst on holidays in Hawaii. They say timing is everything and for me this really struck a chord.
“Trade your expectations for appreciation and your whole world changes in an instant.”
I was in Kona (on Hawaii's Big Island) where I was surrounded by the world’s fittest Ironmen athletes. Naturally, I had set the expectation that I would do some form of training at least once per day. I started well with two subsequent runs and a swim and then things became harder looking after Ethan, hanging out with friends and supporting my husband Owain’s movements, who was there to race.
When I saw this quote I thought drop the expectations of training everyday whilst you’re here and just appreciate it when you can. This immediately changed my mindset. Instead of any disappointment that I couldn’t sometimes get a session in I just appreciated every moment spent with Ethan, Owain, friends and the natural wonder of Hawaii.
What expectations in your life could you drop and trade for appreciation?
When returning to Sydney from Hawaii I had planned to race a local club triathlon and another sprint triathlon before Christmas. Without adequate training for it and still breastfeeding very frequently I thought I’m going to drop this expectation and focus on appreciating this precious time with Ethan before I return to work. Triathlon will still be there when Ethan grows up and not so dependent on me.
This felt liberating and relieved the pressure I had unconsciously put on myself.
The thinking was affirmed when I caught up with a friend who is recovering from an injury. She has been working with a mediation series themed on acceptance versus resistance. The point I takeaway is:
Letting go of always striving for more + accepting and taking what you can from the present moment = liberation
So devil’s advocate may say this approach is just giving up and turning away from goals. I believe there is definitely a place for expectations and goals at the right time for you. As I wrote about previously “You can have it all... in the long term” and “Why I Set Myself and Mindfulness Schedule.”
However, at this current stage, I find this thinking refreshing and believe we can probably all learn from giving ourselves an expectation break and appreciating the wonder around us. And lastly, my tips for bringing more appreciation into your life:
- Every morning think of three things you’re grateful for
- Share with others what you appreciate about them
- Drop thinking about what you ‘should’ be doing