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Great Unexpectations


Not very long ago, someone requested my help for a job search. I didn’t know them at all but upon meeting, it appeared that their headcount was transferred to another city and the situation was dire.


Then again, a few days later, I was watching the story of company that went into liquidation and took with it the livelihood of many; some of whom felt too old to find new jobs and others who knew no other way to live. In the blink of an eye, the only life they had lived and loved had come to an abrupt end. Just like that! 


So why am I talking about this?


I'm not here to depress you, far from. I'm here to reflect and provoke some thought, to speak of expectations, separations and preparations. Expectations are a positive emotion filled with hope, hence we love to speak about it. Separations, on the other hand, cause anxiety - it’s a biological response that begins at birth - not something we can control. Perhaps that is the reason we prefer not to speak about it until of course, there's no other resort.


But it is important.


I'm here to reflect and provoke some thought, to speak of expectations, separations and preparations.

Having been through one divorce and several relocations, (from India to Liberia, then Spain, back to India, Scotland and now the UK) I’ve learnt my lessons the hard way. 


On the career front, although I have never really been out of work, I've witnessed more sudden and seemingly unjustified departures than I can count. And as people have 'left the building', many have taken with them their promises of promotions, long-term career plans, structures, sadly, even values. In return, they have left me the most precious present ever - LESSONS! 


The thing here is that as humans we seek to belong and being part of anything, a team, a firm, a family, helps fulfil that need. I can't argue, it's so beautiful to belong and be loved for who you truly are. But the way I see it, pegging your expectations to one thing and one thing alone, comes at a huge price - even when it works.


Let's look at the happy path first.  

I can't argue, it's so beautiful to belong and be loved for who you truly are.

Happy Path: Ongoing Anxiety


Sometimes, everything seems to be going our way. For example, we are performing well and in turn, we are rewarded for it. We love the feeling and put in even more - the cycle continues.


What's wrong with that right?


Often I see people in successful jobs, living in absolute fear and insecurity - even the tiniest bit of threat such as a change or even just some uncertainty triggers a disproportionate response.


Worse, if things are going to plan but for some reason, we wish to detach, or even slow down, we can't. We feel trapped! When I was separating, I had many people come up to me and say that they wish they had the finance, the framework or even just the guts to do what I did, but somehow, they felt trapped in their own set-up.


If this is the happy path, what is the unhappy path?


Let's have a look.


Unhappy Path: Sub-zero Start


Let’s assume that for whatever reason, you do break away.


In this case where we have made a person or a job the centre of our universe, our d’etre (reason for being) and have held on what I might call ‘a little too tight’, we find that we simply forgot to take time to renew ourselves. In fact sometimes, we might find that we thought that looking after our wellbeing was someone else's job!


Then one day, we wake up and find that we have gone too far down this road of self-depletion and it's now not just a case of building from ground zero, but clearing the rubble just to be able to see the ground for what it is. Hence the sub-zero. 


So what can we do about it?


As I said, I learnt the very hard way. Whether it's my personal or professional life, my brushes with expectation and separation have taught me two big lessons. You could call them tips, for me, they are my principles for life, regardless of who comes and goes.

You could call them tips, for me, they are my life principles.

1. Diversify. 


I do a lot of things. I coach, speak, write, invest in stocks and a bit more over and above my day job. Maybe head over to my website if you wish to see details.

Often people assume that I am looking to leave my day job and maybe become a full time coach. Others wonder what if I might want to be a full time writer. Sure, maybe one day. As for now, I am full time...I'm full time diversified. 


I am full time...I'm full time diversified. 

And none of this is lack of commitment to a job or an expression of dissatisfaction, if anything; it is just an expression of passion. I love the process of exploring and if something features on my portfolio of life, it is testament to the fact that think it to be worth my while.


Doing something out of love rather than fear is extremely empowering and liberating.


Doing something out of love rather than fear is extremely empowering and liberating.

2.         Invest in Yourself


Much as I love my children, my work, my family, I am ALWAYS working on myself. 

As an example, writing is how I reflect, it's therapy for me and here's proof as to how much I write - and this is not even everything because a lot goes into my personal journals! I workout almost daily and every once in a while, I dash-off on a date!


It's not my prerogative to tell you how to renew and reenergise because you know what works for you. No matter what it is you do, the aim is to ensure that you are constantly working on yourself and not expecting someone else to do so.


...the aim is to ensure that you are constantly working on yourself and not expecting someone else to do so.

To conclude


All in all, expectations are part of life but then so is uncertainty. And in every eventuality,

I want for you to be better prepared.


Looking after yourself is not at odds with trusting the others or a sign of lacking commitment. Neither is it someone else's job. It is also not selfish or narcissistic, as some cultures make it out to be. 


In terms of expectations, before you define your expectations of others, I want for you to expect something of yourself. I want that you expect yourself to be resilient in the face of great unexpectations. i.e. the unexpected will happen sometimes and I want for you to be prepared.


As I always say, ‘empty cups don’t pour.’ Always make sure you have enough for yourself and then some. 


I am a keynote speaker and a mindset coach. If you wish to connect, I am on +447817256077. More of my articles are on vinitaramtri.com

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