Expectations, Disappointment and Spontaneity

How do expectations influence experiences?

Does the anticipation of an event make it all the better when it actually happens?

Does anticipations raise expectations higher than reality could ever deliver thus making the event unsatisfying when it actually happens?

In practice do you find that expectations make your experiences more or less satisfying?

How satisfying do you find sponteneous events when you had no chance to form any expectations?

I am currently of the opinion that expectations do ruin events. The more you have of them the more your set yourself up to experience dissapointment. The ability to limit expectations increased the potential for greater satisfaction. Spontaenous events can be the most satisfying of all because you did not get an opportunity to form any expectations whatsoever.

I wanted to say something, but couldn’t quite get it out as eloquently as Mr Alan Watts. He says;

"What is the use of planning to be able to eat next week unless I can really enjoy the meals when they come? If I am so busy planning how to eat next week that I cannot fully enjoy what I am eating now, I will be in the same predicament when next week’s meals become ‘now’.

If my happness at this moment consists largely in reviewing happy memories and expectations, I am but dimly aware of this present. I shall still be dimly aware of the present when the good things that I have been expecting come to pass. For I shall have formed a habit of looking behind and ahead, making it difficult for me to attend to the here and now. If, then my awareness of hte past and future makes me less aware of the present, I must begin to wonder whether I am actually living int he real world.

After all, the futre is quite menaingless and unimportant unless, sooner or later, it is going to become the present. Thus to plan for a future which is not going to become present is hardly more absured than to plan for a future which, when it comes to me, will find me ‘absent,’ looking fixedly over its shoulder instead of into its face".

Xander- we have not talked in too long. A lot has been going on in my life and wanted to say that even though we don’t talk too often you’re a good friend. I’m sentimental right now, so let me shut up and I’ll answer the questions one by one because you just hit a nail on the head for me. Ha ha ha- “expectations” whew- what a set up for being shit on! You’re better off without them, so you can enjoy and appreciate people and things for all the good of what they are and the truth about what they can offer you and what they cannot. Here goes:

Does the anticipation of an event make it all the better when it actually happens?

Sometimes, I remember being a kid and getting all worked up, not being able to sleep the night before we would go to Six Flags Great America. I remember thinking while I was there that this is the best time ever, and it was. But amusement parks are predictable, especially when you’re with family and you know what to expect from them too. I find when it comes down to other people and romance, that the best experiences are the unexpected- they catch you by surprise!

Does anticipations raise expectations higher than reality could ever deliver thus making the event unsatisfying when it actually happens?

It depends on the event and you. If you’re a compulsive daydreamer, like I am, you’re always going to be moderately disappointed because everyone in your life would have to be a mind reader for things to work out to your liking.

In practice do you find that expectations make your experiences more or less satisfying?

This also depends. I think when you’re disappointed the best thing to do is release all expectations. It sure saves you the trouble of feeling hurt. Love comes with a lot of expectations and sometimes you think you’re really connected to someone, you know like you’re in it together, and they say some things to make you feel differently- or they just can never make their mind up and you have to let it go because what if you really needed them and they just weren’t willing to be there for you? I mean, in your own best interest, are you going to wait to be screwed over or just take most of your chips off the table? Always have a “plan B”. Cynicism is the enemy of expectation, unless you’re always expecting the worst.

How satisfying do you find spontaneous events when you had no chance to form any expectations?

Very satisfying. When you expect nothing, disappointment is nearly impossible.

How do expectations influence experiences?

This is the question I like the least so I’m answering it last and not putting in much effort- expectations make everything shit. That’s not really my answer… I didn’t like the question.