On a recent Wednesday afternoon date with Lori, a fellow at the next table was explaining life to the man with him. He said the key to happiness is low expectations. It was all I could do to stay in my chair! Aside from the fact it was our day off, I doubt I could have made a dent in his belief, but I wanted to! 

So to get it out of my system, I’ll vent here. ;-)

Low Expectations © Ivonnewierink | Dreamstime.com

To some degree, the fellow is accurate. Having unrealistically high expectations is a sure way to end up miserable. It is also a good way to make those around you miserable. However, low expectations can be a big problem too.

Those who are all about low expectations usually hold themselves to low expectations. (What we overheard from the fellow at the next table indicated this was the case for him.) This does not make one a great employee. Maybe they do enough to keep their job, but they do not get the promotions and pay raises of those who have higher standards. Low self-expectations can also be a marriage problem. Telling your spouse their expectations of you are too high doesn’t solve anything!

Low expectations are usually accompanied by a lack of self-motivation. Such people usually lead small lives. They don’t accomplish much. If a man like this has a wife with limited expectations, the couple might do okay. If she has normal expectations, they will have problems.

All the rest of it aside, I do not find low expectations a godly value. Jesus did not die for us so we could play it safe and be happy because we have low expectations.

Finally, had Lori and I had low expectations when we married, we would never have been happy. We had problems, and I do not see how we could have lowered our expectations enough to stop caring about those problems. Because we expected a great marriage, we fought to have one. Today we are happy not because we had low expectations, but because we had realistic expectations. 

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