We talk, we rant, we deliver workshops to those who would listen. We write reams and reams of words. We read the writings of wise ones who went before - in a book world that was vastly different, of course, pre-2009 - but emerge more or less unaltered.
Then a young person says something, in that inimitable enthusiastic, clear, bright way they have ... and realization, if it were a liquid, would have drenched the tablecloth. Refilled the yellow cups, flooded the plates and cutlery, made mush out of napkins and leftover Stroganoff.
Confusing hopes with expectations, however, can be dangerous, defeating, and the result can be just plain depressing. Expectations require some consideration of an outcome, which is always limited by environment, participants, income, location, ability. Hope is eternal and needs no real results. Anyone can hope. We might continue to hope long after the lottery is drawn, the ship goes out, the parcel is lost in the post. But expectations need input, and an understanding of real elements necessary to bring them about.
One can mark up what I mean: it can be easy to visualize the difference by listing hopes and expectations in the same way as one would pros and cons. Do it: draw a vertical line down the middle of your page and list Hopes on one side and Expectations on the other. Do this for each aspect upon which you are imagining some sort of result. It could be a response from a distant person, a batch of seeds to sprout, a tax refund to arrive, or yes ... book sales.
Your hopes are understandable, legitimate, vital, even. One needs to hope. Hope is a basic human attribute. Without it, we lack ... well, we lack hope. If we are denied hope, we rebel.
Learning this makes me take a pair of garden secateurs to my expectations: trim them down to what is in fact, in obvious fact, truly possible. My long list becomes drastically shorter. I am brought nose-to-nose with the reality of what it is I imagine might happen.
How do you distinguish between hopes and expectations? Have you - until now - felt they are much the same thing?