Expect nothing. It cannot be stressed too strongly or expressed too often. Expect nothing. If you can simply contemplate these two words and practice them day and night, there’s no need to say or do more. Expect nothing.
Something as simple and innocuous as waiting for a promised phone call can lead to disappointment. The caller gets legitimately delayed, you heard the time incorrectly, or there’s some other reason the call comes later than expected or not at all, yet you still experience disappointment.
When disappointment lingers even after you learn the facts, it may create resentment if you cannot forgive the assumed source of your disappointment. Disappointment can lead to frustration, blaming, anger, and our own bad behavior, so unless we can learn from our disappointment and not react to it, it is best for all concerned to avoid it whenever possible, and, as already stated, the way to this is to expect nothing.
If you’re sitting by the phone waiting for the call that doesn’t come, your experience might look something like this: You go over in your mind exactly what was said regarding the phone call and determine that you’re right, the call is late. You blame the delinquent caller. You get frustrated, worried, angry, and then hugely disappointed. Your expectation is dashed and frustration sets in because you didn’t get what you wanted when you wanted it (especially if you weren’t engaged in the practice of being still and just waiting).
If you tend to sink into disappointment when something doesn’t happen as you imagined it would, were told that it would, or expected it would, then the only antidote is to eliminate expectation.
Accept that anything can and will happen, that sometimes the actual outcome will turn out to be even better than anything you could have foreseen, and that you might miss this other, new, and unique scenario if you are sitting with blinders on, stuck in your tunnel-vision point of view.
Know that the stance of expecting nothing takes time to cultivate and much practice to perfect. And also know that it doesn’t mean just giving up and becoming a doormat. It simply means that flexibility as opposed to rigidity is called for. You have innate resources to assist you—your breath, your belly-mind, your heart, your intuition, and even your intellect. Call on them all as you face the challenge of being disappointed, and eventually disappointment will be but a tiny blip on your screen of serenity. Changing circumstances will not blow you off your course, you will welcome the unpredictable nature of all things, and you will handle the challenges of your life as smoothly and as gracefully as you sleep. Peace will come if you persevere.