(Distinctions are subtleties of language that, when gotten, cause a shift in a belief, behavior, value or attitude.)
Expectations are normal. Everyone has them. Why is it more useful to have preferences than expectations?
Expectations are about the future. You become attached to what you expect. If it doesn’t happen, you feel let down, yucky, less than. If it does happen, you miss the big payoff because you already expected it. That sounds weird but you can probably think of situations in your past where you got what you expected and didn’t enjoy it like you thought you would.
Preferences are about now. You focus your energy on how you prefer things to be and as a result you become busy in the present creating them. Working on what you prefer is a joy in and of itself.
A key to recognizing expectations is that they are about hope and depend on external conditions. They are driven by needs, must-be’s, and have-to’s.
Preferences are about choosing, taking responsibility and getting into action. They include desires, wants and healthy goals.
Copyright 2002 Steve Straus. All rights reserved.