Friday, August 29, 2014

Living with Expectancy

In my retirement presentations I frequently instruct the audience to create what they want in retirement—to set goals, stretch themselves, and vision how they want to live during this next phase of life. In other words, I encourage them to create expectations.

In many cases this advice proves to be beneficial. Instead of accepting life as it comes, you move into the driver’s seat, directing where you go and how fast you get there. While all this is good, expectations have a close cousin that’s also worth getting to know. This cousin is “living with expectancy.” 

 What is the difference between living with expectations and living with expectancy?

According to Amy Gaither Hayes, author of A Collection of Wednesdays: Creating a Whole from the Parts, "Living with expectations is a sure way to end up disappointed, frustrated and possibly bitter. But, if we live each day with expectancy, we can’t help but receive gifts."

Hmmm. This statement made me pause to think about what it means for my life and for the people who look to me for direction in navigating their retirement years.

I looked up the definition of expectancy—anticipation, hope, belief, possibility.

This way of thinking reminds me of a view promoted by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander in their book, The Art of Possibility. These authors advocate viewing life from the universe of possibility, where you set the context and let life unfold. Compare this to approaching life through the measurement world where you set a goal and strive for it—in other words, living with expectations. 

Living with expectancy does not mean that you sit back and accept whatever comes your way. Conversely, you "set the context" for possibility, and then anticipate surprises, gifts, and perhaps more than you can envision on your own in the world of measurement and expectations.

What are you doing to set the context?