What expectations do you have for your life? What were they aged seven? How about aged 17? Or 27? Did those expectations change? If so, why did they change?

Did you become a different person? Perhaps you met someone? Or did something unexpected happen?

Could it be that your expectations increased as time went on? Did you realise that you’d be able to surpass what other people thought you could achieve in your life? Perhaps you met people who had higher expectations of themselves and others?

If your expectations decreased as you got older, how do you feel about that? Did you tell yourself that you’re being ‘realistic’? Or did a comment or action from someone, or group of people, cause you to reassess things?

Maybe you came to a realisation that what you thought was important, actually wasn’t really? Or, it could have been that what you thought was unimportant, actually was vitally important to you?

Was it your health? Were you sickly when younger and grew stronger over time? Or was it the other way around? Is your health an excuse? A crutch? Or have you flourished despite your constraints?

Have you ever reflected on your expectations of yourself? What about those of others? Are you harder on yourself than on other people? Or are you harder on them than you are on yourself?

What would your seven-year old self say? How about the 17 version of you? Would your 27 year-old self be happy about your current expectation levels?


Quotation-as-title by Auguste Préault. Image by Davide Ragusa. If you liked this, you’ll love The Interrogative Mood by Padgett Powell.