black white marble background with quote

I heard something the other day while watching a FB Live video on Gary John Bishop‘s FB page. I was listening to his book on Audible and something he said resonated so much with me, that I jumped on FB, found his page, liked it and started watching his videos.


Are you ready?

“The root cause of life and relationship problems is unmet expectations.”

Mind. Blown.

At first, I let the statement enter and exit, or so I thought, but no…

The phrase filed itself away somewhere in that vast filing system I call a brain and keeps popping into up into my consciousness without warning.

UNMET EXPECTATIONS are the root cause of being upset, regretful, disappointed, elated, overjoyed. Essentially extreme highs and extreme lows, neither of which are super healthy for your mind.

So, I’ve been thinking on it, and you know how much truth is behind that statement? Think about a time you were truly disappointed with a result. Was it because of the actual result? Or, was it because that result did not meet the expectations you created about the result?

Let’s go deeper. Personal, even.

Think about the last fight you had with your spouse. You were ANGRY because *he  did or didn’t do something. Am I right? Think about it. Was it actually what he did or didn’t do…or was it because you had expected a particular something and he didn’t/did do it? (*I chose he because my spouse is a he. Insert pronoun of preference here)

Can you imagine how easy living would be if we stopped living for our expectations and instead, lived for our reality???

Think about it…

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Expectation: a well behaved child that is empathetic, compassionate and grateful.

REALITY: an unruly, unpredictable child that could care less about your feeling 90% of the time, truly believes everything is his and that he should have it, regardless of circumstances.


Expectation: My husband will come home, the house will calm down because daddy is home and he is happy to see me and his children. As an added bonus, I even get asked how my day went.

REALITY: My husband comes home–the kids have turned into hurricanes and totally ignore that he’s home after 5 seconds. The demands fly out and chaos continues until bedtime, which, on this day is a complete disaster. Voices raise, frustrations rise and by the end, we collapse in bed without barely any conversation. Note: the only conversation revolves around the children.


Expectation: My business partners are as excited as I am and throw themselves into their jobs and we all succeed each and every month, growing and accomplishing each goal we set out.

REALITY: Life gets in the way and one partner slacks off, which affects an entire area of the business, so now you’re working double time to make up for the deficiency.

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Do you see where I am going with this? You can work yourself up so much over something that you simply expected to happen. Why do that to yourself? Why not state a goal or intention and then live life as it is given to you. family photo on parking deck with city skyline background

Stop with the expectations.

Everything else will fall into place.

And then you won’t be upset, or mad, or frustrated when something doesn’t go your way.

Instead, you might actually find the perfect of the situation. Because a potty training little boy during a family photo shoot doesn’t really add up BUT how much this picture illustrates my family dynamic is breathtaking. If I had expected an easy, problem free shoot, I would have become anxious and probably frustrated. That would have then SHOWN in my facial expressions. Instead, we didn’t expect anything and found humor in the situation (there was NO TOILET TO BE FOUND…)

What do expectations do to you? Think about it and see if you notice how many of your true disappointments have been because you expected something else.

Written by Shay Rafferty
I help families shift to living live a life of wellness and abundance by using natural, plant-based products.