Agree Up, Expect Down

Expectation is the root of disappointment. In terms of expectations of others, the hard lesson to learn is that we don’t just have to lower the bar, we have to put that bar down. If we expect others to do anything or act in any way that is outside of our control, we are holding space for disappointment. When it comes to ourselves, realistic expectations rely on what is in our power to control – how we choose to act and react.

Agreements are the root of accountability. When others choose to agree to do something, they are entering into a contract of accountability. When we agree to do something, we do the same. What’s made simple here is that if someone else is failing to uphold their agreements, we can help them notice this in an objective manner. The birds-eye perspective is that they agreed to do it – we did not expect them to do it. It’s a means to support someone else like a spotter does in weight-lifting. If we are fearful of how we will be judged for calling someone else out when they are failing to meet their agreements, then we are the ones not demonstrating accountability.

When we operate from a place of objectivity, if others respond with fear, do they fear us or accountability? Although in these situations we may at times receive the brunt of others’ frustrations, in reality it’s not personal. However, reality doesn’t always make being on the receiving end of ignorance easy. The reason for this is that in order to care enough about wanting others to be the best versions of themselves, we must be operating from a place of compassion, which involves being sensitive and vulnerable. We must also be holding ourselves up to our agreements. Our agreements to choose to be in humble service to others, to doing good, and not being in service to our egos.

Ignorance isn’t always kind, and arrogance fueled by ignorance is a vengeful combination. When operating from a place of reasoned choice opposed to emotion, we may appear to others as unemotional. It’s difficult to care enough to say something knowing that even if we choose our words perfectly, we still have no control over how it will be processed and received. Accountability can feel like a place of isolation. When we care enough about taking right action, we too have to accept to not care about what is out of our control.


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Aspiring Stoic and Doting Father

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