Over the past 30 plus years I've worked with a lot of couples who where struggling with their marriages. There is one stress issue that has come up over and over, whether voiced or not, but it's not money. The number one reason, beyond adultery and abuse, for couples to break up is failed expectations.
It might have been promises not kept as the core of the failed expectations. For instance, a young man may woo a girl into relationship, and ultimately into marriage, because of the potential for a comfortable life with lots of "stuff" and all that life can offer, like kids, cars, a nice home, great vacations, etc. But, when reality hits, the economy turns upside-down, the jobs or promotions don't come, the money is too little and the expectation is crushed. Soon after, the marriage falls apart.
The same can be true in your career, or any career for that matter. When you entered your current career, you probably didn't expect to experience the longest running recession since the Great Depression to be your current and constant norm.
You may not have expected your chosen field to be the hardest hit in an economy that is struggling to get on track. You probably didn't think that clients would use your services with promises of financial reward, only to turn their backs on you just before payday or that a co-worker would steal a customer away when you weren't looking.
These things all happen in life, but there is a flip-side to living in a world of failed expectations. You can just as easily live in a world of expectations. Today, I had a client email to tell me that her husband decided to go with a family friend for their current listing needs. I had done all the leg work, set a price for their upcoming sale, provided all the paperwork for their short sale and they took it followed by a short email and a simple "sorry, but" line that would leave most of us frustrated. It did me.
But, on other side of that event, I still live a life of expectation. It's hard sometimes, but it's a much better way to live. Three hours later, I received a new listing. I could have sulked over the lost opportunity, or I could believe that good things are going to come my way day after day. When they come, they are there because they are expected. There is a great power, or faith, in expecting good things to come into your life.
One of the things I always asked each individual in a marriage couple counseling session is, "What would you have to change to be happy in any relationship?" That normally caught them off guard because they wanted me to ask what their partner would need to change in order for them to be happy, but the truth is no one can make you happy or sad without your permission.
So, as you're thinking about your career, "What would you have to change to develop a life of expectation in your career?"