Kyle Samera

Managing expectations while building

Part of the building process is rooted in expectation. It's impossible to not think about lofty milestones, goals, ideas, etc. when you get to work. The registration of a domain name is more than enough to onset these thoughts.

The rush is great, but the thoughts fuel for heartbreak.

It's not just theory either. The University College of London published their findings in 2014 after studying 18,000 people and found that moment to moment happiness is highly linked to whether things are going better than expected rather than how well things are going.

Basically, don't have expectations, don't get disappointed.

But without any expectation of anything are you really motivated to pursue your goals? Should you even care about these goals if you're happy anyway?

Tough to say.

For me, it's a balancing act. A difficult one.

They say good things take time (side thought: but do they though? check out this list). During that time, you're bound to find yourself in the "Valley of Disappointment" where you're consistently falling below expectations.

Valley of Disappointment

Sadly, we usually stop our pursuit in the valley specifically because of mis-matched expectation with reality.

But, would we ever have the motivation to start and do the hard things if we didn't set any expectations to begin with? Probably not.

So it is a balance. High expectations can motivate you as long as you can withstand the valley over time. The longer it takes, the more your motivation fades. But the lower your expectations, the lower your motivation to start with, potentially fading much faster.

Somewhere in the middle would be nice. Finding that middle is hard.

I struggle daily with expectations. I find solace in conviction, though. If you're certain of an outcome, it's not an expectation, it's a certainty. The valley doesn't apply. Start with certainties then work backwards to realistic expectations. And when the going gets tough from underperforming expectations, zoom out to your certainties.