“Apeksha” as it is called in Sanskrit, the expectation is ingrained in our lives. There could be different levels of expectations and different types of expectations but there is no one who can say “I have no expectations”. Let us not confuse with “Asha” which is hope. There is a huge difference between the two; hope is something which has a tinge of uncertainty in the cause while expectation is filled with confidence, though both cannot guarantee the outcome. Hioe is mostly pinned on God, expectations on self and others. But one has to agree that every one of us have these two, hope and expectation as a walking stick to thread the path of life. Those who claim to be satisfied with whatever they have got in their life expect that the same might continue.
Now why do we have these expectations and from where will it arise? The very existence of human life is hinged on to hope and expectations. Without hope and expectations life would be so meaningless and boring too. Expectations keep arising for a better self, a better tomorrow, since we are tuned to look for something more than what we already have. In a sense, we rarely accept ourselves or our circumstances, as they are.
Every one of us is in the process of changing either ourselves, or those around us, or the circumstances and environment in which we live. The idea behind such thought is that once there is the change, we get what we are looking for, it could be anything, and life will be happier and more peaceful. Nothing wrong with this kind of thought, except that the in-built mechanisms of our mind make this a good theoretical exercise, but the one that does not suite us for long, in reality. When we don’t accept ourselves or our circumstances as they are, we yearn for change. This yearning for change is our triumph card for a better future, but, by its very nature, it could be self-destructive.
Expectations that we all carry in our minds, seems to have endless force, so that, even when what we want has been achieved this force of expecting does not die out. This force remains and it is a bit stronger if we have achieved what we sought, and this keeps up the urge pushing us for more and more. Therefore we can see that the very tool which helps us improve our circumstances should have ideally cease and should have taken a break, at least for an extended period of time. Unfortunately, the mechanism in our mind which is responsible for expectations never settles down even when the expected conditions are granted. For example, when it is too cold in December we expect Sun to be Tiksna (hot) but as it becomes hot we expect it to be Shitala (cool). But, like our expecting brain, the mechanism responsible for the Sun to cool down does not happen, and we see that often. Similarly there seems no “stop” or “pause” button in our minds, which can put an end to the mechanism that cause more expectations, even when our initial expectations are fulfilled.
When our expectations are fulfilled we seem to be happy for some time, but that period wears off and the expectation mechanism which has been lying low for a short time kicks in and starts sending “want” messages. Whatever I have right now with me seem to be uninteresting in the due course of time. If I have bought a swanky car, within a month or two, the happiness of the car starts to dull, and my mind is already in the “expecting” mode, wanting something else, which I don't have or possess. In most of us, this process goes on, lifelong.......without stop!!!