Expect more from your expectations.
Here it is. The first day. You wake up excited to get started on your new adventure. You look extra nice. You take the time to do your hair. It is going to be different this time.
But when you get there, something goes wrong. He doesn’t open your door. The boss treats you like you just graduated from first grade. Your hall smells like ramen in the worst possible way. All of the sudden things aren’t as great as you expected and your excitement turns into dread.
When we set up expectations of how something is going to go, we set ourselves up for disappointment. By fantasizing about an ideal world where everything goes our way we allow our hopes to become the reality. Reality, however, can never be perfect. Just like I wrote in my last post, excellence is possible, but perfection is unachievable.
I don’t know about you, but I have a wild imagination and I love planning. That makes avoiding expectations almost impossible. I love new beginnings because of all the possibilities and new outcomes. How could I not think about how great things could be? I have to come up with some kind of replacement for expectations.
You can give up expectations when you give over your planning to God. This is one of those solutions that is simple, but not necessarily easy. We know that God has the best plan for our lives and that when we give him control he will always do what is best for us. That doesn’t mean that it won’t take a daily surrender to Him.
In Jeremiah 29 it says,”‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and will bring you back from captivity.”
We know that God has plans for our lives. That is the expectation that we should carry in our hearts. We should expect that God is in control and that by trusting in him, we are living the life he is calling us to. When there are bumps along the way we can call on God and he will show himself to us. By replacing our own expectations with the expectation that God is working in our lives we can find hope in any circumstance.
What matters to you? Does it motivate you? Prove it.
Stand For Something explores the importance of core values in the lives of college freshmen and beyond.
What matters to you?
This is the most important question you are going to answer. You are going to answer this question everyday before you choose to get out of bed in the morning. It is how you will choose your major and how you will choose to speak to others. We answer this question because our values are the core of who we are. So, what matters to you?
In communications, we are trying to answer the question “What is the purpose of this organization?” In everything we say and convey our purpose as communication experts is to tell the public who we are. As individuals our purpose is not far from that.
As a Christian, I speak to show the character of Christ. As a Student, I work to show academic strength. As a friend, I listen, laugh and bond with the people around me. Everything I do is an extension of my core being and the person I am trying to be.
But what happens when I don’t know what I stand for? If I don’t know who I am, then how can I decide what I want?
If you don’t know what you stand for or even if you don’t stand for anything you can be misguided. Even if you are missing a system of navigation, you will still end up at a destination. People will always be forming opinions about you. Unintentional actions and communication are still perceived. That is why it is so crucial to identify your values.
Identifying your “brand” or rather what you stand for is the first step. Ask yourself the hard questions. Do some research. Have in depth conversations with other people about their own beliefs. Finding out who you are means that you question whether or not you believe the things you have always held as true. Through this process, your faith will become the strongest it could be. Blind faith may still technically be faith, but it isn’t the kind of faith that allows you to have a true relationship with God.
From here you grow. Once your core values have been identified, they will start to leak into everything you do. Pretty soon, your social media, your daily interactions, and even your thoughts will reflect the core of who you are. By meditating on truth you will find that it is easier to be honest and make choices you are proud of.
This is so important for us to get as college students and especially as freshmen. Everything from choosing a minor to the people we surround ourselves with has to be intentionally and carefully chosen as we develop so quickly. We are going to be molded in these next few years. Choosing to stand for something now will help guide us into the person we want to become.