Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Of Expectations, Reality, and Frustration

Blessed is the man who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed
Alexander Pope

In today’s cutthroat corporate world, it is not strange to hear people complaining about frustration. I never paid any heed to this phenomenon called “frustration,” until the time I experienced it myself. And there have been more than one instances when I have felt utterly frustrated; the latest instance being yesterday night itself. Yesterday’s frustration resulted from a really insignificant and personal reason, and I will cautiously not put it here… However, as always happens after the “frustration stroke,” I set out thinking on the reasons. I thought on why I am getting frustrated so much, and so often? Why don’t I have the same attitude and vigor of enjoying life as it comes, as I used to do some years back when I was in college? Why do things not happen the way I “EXPECT” them to happen? Alternatively, did things really happen they way I expected them to happen earlier? If not, is it that I have lost my aptitude of reconciling my emotional acumen with a reality stripped off the expected??? What is it that makes me adore the expected and belie and elude the reality??

All these bold and italicized elements gave me a self-explaining and befitting answer; and I set out thinking on expectation, reality, and frustration. Retrospection is an essential rejoinder to any frustration stroke; else, frustration gets instilled in your personality. And retrospection, to me, demands a solemn and comport comprehension of the past. Anyways, I had been attempting to compare present expectations and past expectations. Past always appeals to me, because it gives me immense learning in the form of relentless experiences and endeavors. And these learning forays have made me what I am today; what I EXPECTED to be some time back. “Treat a man as he is, he will remain so. Treat a man the way you expect him to be, and he will become as is expected from him.” Therefore, I have always treated myself as I expect myself to be. And self is the exact reflection of what you actually are. Retrospection on the past also gives me the pleasure of celebrating my triumphs over life; no, over the unexpected.

All said and done, what I analyzed about my past is that it was a lot closer to the expected. As a child, I was a struggler, since I only had expectations and realities. That phase of my life saw the most panoptic divide between expectation and reality. I never knew what it felt like when expectation and reality met. Then one day, they actually met. So started the next phase of my life; when I experienced the convergence of expectations and reality and started expecting expectations and reality to meet. This phase was still characterized by struggle, and I still felt the relishing finale of expectations meeting reality. An important thing that I learnt about life in this phase is that “Expecting the world to treat you fairly because you are a good person is a little like expecting the bull not to attack you because you are a vegetarian.”

With time, however, this phenomenon of expectations meeting reality became a vernacular part of my expectations; thus uplifting the schema of my expectations. Well, if expecting expectations to meet reality becomes inherent, this is the stage when frustration sets in. It is bound to set in, as this stage signifies the superlative degree of virtual triumphs and a sheer lack of struggling spirit. So, where am I now? Have I taken expectations and reality for granted? Has too much of good happened to me? So much that I have become insane and ignorant to reality as it is; stripped off expectations at times? Or is it that I want to transcend the boundary of time and want to see expectations and reality meet before they are actually meant to meet? All of it; perhaps. For one thing, expectations and reality do meet, always. Because time separates them and dream integrates them. I have stopped dreaming these days… Stopped living??? What I need to do is to revisit my old days, unlearn the triumph of expectations meeting reality, learn the art of relishing the struggle, and relearn the experience and joy of expectations meeting reality. What I need to do away with is to stop evading reality, rather evade the sense of frustration and dissatisfaction and enjoy the struggle that comes between expectations meeting reality. This enjoyment will set in once I start dreaming again. Never regret dreaming, for dreams are the supplement to reality!! :-)


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