Setting the right expectations to live well

October 16, 2014

This morning during a water break in the field. A big shiny car drove by and an elegant lady lowered her window and asked, ‘where is the landowner who own these lands?’

One of my farmhands pointed to me. But since I was covered from head to toe in dirt and taken off my shirt.

This lady went on to say, ‘I have no time for jokes!’

And that was when we all laughed.


‘The biggest disappointments in our lives usually arise from imposing expectations on how others should treat and regard us. This is especially true when it comes to relationships. Doesn’t matter whether it is personal or in the public sphere. Once we set expectations on how others should treat and regard us….if they fall short of our standards. We are bound to be disappointed.

However if we temper our expectations of how others would treat and regard us. Then this will greatly reduce unnecessary frustration and suffering, in both our life and theirs, and most importantly help us to keep the goal clear on the things that truly matter.

That is the goal to focus on what truly matters and to disregard the many nonsensical distractions that may either cause us to lose focus or eat up our precious time.

To accomplish this. I don’t usually expect others these days to agree with me. Not all the time at least or to eve. see my point of view all the time. Granted. I used too.

But don’t now. Neither do I argue my case as forcefully as I used too. As I have come to the realization some people will always see things their own way for their own set of reasons. If you’re going to invest in the mind’s of others. You would probably have to learn ESP, take a course on how to think like Nostradamus….in short your brain will explode lah!

So Dowan lah!

Neither do I expect others to treat me with the same level of respect that they expect me to treat them.

Again granted. I used to expect a certain level of respect from others and if I don’t get it, it’s not unusual for me to even demand it or create the conditions where it will come to me.

My point is these days. I am simply bovine about this whole matter. As I figured out. I am just feeding my ego. And since the ego is like a fat man who can eat 20 roti prata and still be hungry. He is impossible to satisfy. Best be mellow about it. Otherwise if you decide to be slave to your ego. You will find yourself doing all sort of really stupid things and mixing around with plastic people who have plastic goals who all aspire to live plastic lives.

That is a Jalan mati lah! A dead end. Dowan lah!

Besides worshipping myself doesn’t seem to be as important as it used to be any longer.

Since I have reached the realization – just as I am under no obligation to live up to the expectation of others. I too cannot impose the same from others. Besides, what they may think about me is at best a matter of profound indifference when compared to what I think about myself and my capabilities.

One of the most notable changes in my expectation of others these days….is I no longer feel the need to seek their approval. Or even feel the pressure to conform to what they believe to be right….normal….or even acceptable.

Granted! I used too. As I genuinely want others to like me and I feel the need to belong to a community.

But these days that need has diminished greatly. It’s not due to resignation or bochapness. It’s just that I have had a lot of time to think over it and Ome day when I was sitting underneath a durian tree. A spicky durian the size of a bowling ball fell down and missed my head by two millimeters…and in that one moment of epiphany I came to see the truth…..

LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO LIVE FOR OTHERS….if you do that one day you are just going to end up old wondering to yourself where did all of your life go too?

Recently a village elder asked me whether he should include my name in a list of donors for the coming school dinner. As every year I make it a point to give money to the school. This year I told him….let other people give lah….if I keep giving…people will think I am hao lian (a show off).

This elder was quite taken aback and even told me. Many in the village would construe my decision not to donate this year as a sort of boycott….as I left. I told him, let them think what they want to think lah…it is after all their brain. Surely you don’t expect me to control their brain?

Perhaps what I have finally reconciled myself with is the notion. Just because others don’t consider me worthy or deserving of their grace doesn’t mean that I am not precious or even priceless. Definitely more than buy one get the other free lah.

After that day whenever people diss me off. I always remind myself: never forget what you are worth or believe that you have nothing worthwhile to offer those who choose to value me.

After all, I have seen and done many things in my life that other men twice my age can only dream of doing.

Besides one should always be reminded. No matter how good, benevolent and giving you are to people, there will always be others who will hold a grudge against you out of jealously or simply because they are just very negative people who need to find fault with others. It’s best to just smile at them like when one hears children saying silly things and just carry right on.

After all in this crazy world where everyone seems to be trying to change you to be exact facsimiles like them and should you decide to go the other way. They will always label you as antisocial because you are different. But that’s OK I reckon. I used to get pretty hung up about it. But these days, it’s OK!

As the things that all add up to make you different…your life experience…the books and people that you once share your mind with…these are the things that have shaped YOU, and you just need to have faith – the right people will love, honor and respect you for it.’

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