2020 – The Year of Challenged Expectations

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You have to marvel at the pressure we bring to bear on ourselves at the beginning of every year to make New Year’s resolutions.

To many of us, it is often considered a joke!

To others it’s almost a rite of passage that allows us to enter into a new year.

And then 2020 – Covid-19 – Lockdown – Painfully Slow Recovery… A 2020 New Year to truly forget…


Interestingly though (despite ourselves and the current times), when people make new year resolutions they do one of two things:

  • They either set their expectations too high, or
  • They set their expectations too low.


And we have a re-start for the new financial year to make those resolutions (adjusted) again…

High expectations are created so that we can try and push ourselves a little harder or differently than we did the previous year, particularly when we feel we effectively didn’t achieve much all, and in an inspired moment of insanity, we make the decision that we will do better this year and we make a determined effort to it least make a resolution to that fact.

On the other hand low expectations are based on the fact that we didn’t do very well the previous year. It could be that we didn’t do well because we set our expectations too high, so, this year we should set our expectations lower, so that we can make ourselves feel better at the end of this year. We may actually achieve something more than we did the previous year.

As ridiculous as it sounds, this is totally ridiculous!


But just to prove a point (because I can), everywhere you look there are phrases like;

  • “Have high expectations for yourself, but low expectations for others”
  • “Don’t have high expectations because you will be disappointed”
  • “Lower your expectations and feel better with the results”
  • “Peace begins when expectation are low”
  • “Expectation is the root of all heart ache”
  • “Expect nothing and you will never be disappointed”

… and the list goes on.


Try this on for size… please, humour me – it is 2020 after all (and we are in recovery)…

“I have high expectations for myself and I have high expectations for everyone else.”

Just like you, I have gone through having high and low expectations with the expected (pun intended) results… and to be quite frank with you I am rather sick of it.


To tell you the truth… I am choosing to live by two powerful principles this year:

The first is a quote by Oscar Wilde – “I’m a man of simple tastes. I’m always satisfied with the best.”

In the second is my quote I mentioned earlier, “I have high expectations for myself and I have high expectations for everyone else.”


The reason for this is very simple.

I have come to realise that I am totally responsible for my behaviour and actions, and I am also responsible for how I react to the behaviour and actions of others.

Being satisfied with the best is very easy, as I have simply made the decision that I will ALWAYS buy the best that I can afford, and enjoy it.

Having high expectations is a little different, and will be… I expect a little tougher.

My expectations of myself simply means that I have to better this year than I have before…


However, my reasoning is straightforward…

If I expect very little from others, I probably won’t be disappointed… but I will also not be satisfied because the quality of the relationship is going to be quite poor.

Having a higher expectation of others simply means that people who have dealings with me will have to “step up” to achieve a better than average result from the relationship we have… I actually figure this is a win-win situation for both of us.

I get better satisfaction by getting quality results from people, and those who engage with me will feel better because they have had to step-up and BE better to achieve what is expected.

I don’t think this is a philosophy that everyone will agree with, but it is my philosophy for 2020.


Remember, be careful what YOU expect from others.

Create a higher standard and you will create a better and more satisfactory result… expect less and you WILL get less and you can look forward to a similar result at the end of 2020 as you did in 2019.

So… three cheers for “High Expectations!”


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