“How many of my frustrations and disappointments come from expecting too much! It is good to set our standards high, but only if we are prepared to accept, with unperturbed serenity, results that fall short of what we expect.
We expect more of the addict than a sick, confused human can deliver. Once he is sober, we expect a complete transformation. Above all, we make too great demands on ourselves.
Let me learn to settle for less than I wish were possible, and be willing to accept it and appreciate it. I will not expect too much of anyone, not even of myself. Contentment comes from accepting gratefully the good that comes to us, and not from raging at life because it is not better. This wholesome attitude is by no means resignation, but a realistic acceptance.
“What you have may seem small; you desire so much more. See children thrusting their hands into a narrow-necked jar, striving to pull out the sweets. If they fill the hand, they cannot pull it out and then they fall to tears. When they let go of a few, they can draw out the rest. You, too, let your desire go; covet not too much….’ (Epictetus)”
Excessive expectations are the precursors to resentments.