We all expect much of others, we expect much of ourselves and expect much of life.
But I believe we are looking at it all wrong.
Your attention shouldn’t be focused on what you expect of life, but rather what life expects of you.
What is your unique calling
What are your unique qualities
What is it that you can bring, that no one else can, that will leave a mark on others
You see, we all have a need to be needed, to feel valued, to know that we are making a meaningful contribution
To know that we will be missed when we are gone,
That we are relied upon
This is sometimes quite a burden to bare, there’s an unavoidable and inherent element of self-sacrifice in it,
Sometimes even some personal suffering to be endured
But this is where meaning is ultimately found, not in suffering per se, but in answering what you’re called to do, who you are called to be, regardless of the consequences
In actualising your unique human potentialities, as each situation calls upon you to do
In maintaining your integrity, your humanity, even in the face of adversity
This is what separates human from animal.
Meaning is not found in the pursuit of happiness, in seeking pleasure and avoiding pain
It’s found in taking upon yourself the responsibility to bring what you’ve got to offer to the world and to will it into existence
To contribute to the archive of human history
Because what you ultimately leave behind matters
You don’t only owe it to yourself, you owe it to the rest of us
To your family and friends, to your children, to future generations
So next time you find yourself expecting something of others, first ask yourself, what do they expect of me?