Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Unexpected Changes Our Lives

"The expected is just what keeps us steady, standing, still
The expected is just the beginning
The unexpected is what changes our lives."

- Meredith Grey (in Grey's Anatomy Season 3 Episode 13)

Have you ever had very great expectations, only to have them nipped in the bud at the eleventh hour? Have you ever had something you highly valued and looked forward to taken away right before your eyes?

Well, it happened to me in October 2008 and I now proceed to share the invaluable lesson I learnt and the insight acquired from that experience.

October 3, 2008 wasn't a good day for me at all. I was quite disappointed upon receiving information that something I had been looking forward to all of September would actually not materialize. For a moment, I felt like someone gave me a 'Shattered Dreams' low blow kick like Goldust used to do in the WWE.

Coincidentally, I had watched "Great Expectations", the 13th episode in the 3rd season of Grey's Anatomy, just a week before this incident. Whereas I am not that bad at accepting reality, letting go and moving on, I found it difficult to embrace the fact that the other party (a large, well respected media house) in the aforementioned situation had not bothered to inform me of the change in plans before the due date. Clearly, courtesy was wanting here, but c'est la vie, that's life.

Thinking of the effect many 'great expectations' do have in our lives, I now realize that these expectations can sometimes hold us back and therefore limit our ability to expand our horizons.

We so badly cling to these 'great' expectations that we are blinded from other opportunities that lie ahead of us. To make matters worse, these expectations do cloud our judgment and hamper our ability to face challenges.

The worst that can happen when we just focus on getting what we already expect is that we become myopic and overlook the long term.

Once again, I found a possible solution to problems occasioned by unmet 'great expectations' in Grey's Anatomy. (If you still haven't watched this show, I strongly recommend that you do. It is funny, and full of wisdom).

Consider the following:
Words by Meredith Grey

No one believes their life will turn out just 'kind of okay'
We all think we're going to be great
And from the day we decide to (be surgeons)
We are filled, with expectation...
Expectations of the trails we will blaze
The people we will help
The difference we will make
Great expectations of who we will be
Where we will go
And then... we get there.

We all think we're going to be great
And we feel a little bit robbed when our expectations aren't met
But sometimes, our expectations sell us short
Sometimes, the expected simply pales in comparison, to the unexpected
You gotta wonder why we cling to our expectations
Because the expected is just what keeps us steady, standing, still
The expected is just the beginning
The unexpected is what changes our lives.

- Meredith Grey (Grey's Anatomy Season 3 Episode 13)

You can watch the entire 'Great Expectations' episode here.

In life, you've got to expect the unexpected. Do not be limited by the familiar. Broaden your view. Cover new ground.

Learn, share and purpose to free yourself from the old, familiar, and 'well known' expectations.
Have the courage to realize that PLAN and REALITY are seldom, if ever, synonymous.


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