500 Words – Unrealistic Expectations

Day after day, no matter what situation I am in, I catch myself getting angry or impatient over an unrealistic expectation I have towards something. Perhaps you, too, have unrealistic expectations regarding certain things. Within this post, I will go over the difference between a goal and expectation, as well as talk about situations regarding customer service, and driving.

Goals Vs. Expectations

A goal is something that one would like to achieve sometime in the future. A goal is something to aim for. For example, if a goal is to lose twenty pounds, one might start exercising more and have a disciplined diet.

Some of the synonyms for expectation are hope, trust, and anticipation. All of those synonyms entail an act of faith that something will occur. In other words, an expectation is something that a person typically has no control over. One might expect to live to one hundred years of age, but if that person doesn’t do anything about it, then the expectation is a little far-fetched.

In summary, a goal is something that can be controlled to an extent, and an expectation is something that is hoped for, but will not necessarily see fruition.

Expectations and Customer Service

I was involved in a supply-run for my work that involved going to Sam’s Club. The guy I was going with didn’t have the business membership card, and we tried going at around eight in the morning. Predictably, the lady told us we couldn’t enter until ten since we only had the advantage membership. The guy raised a fuss, but I pulled out my business membership and we walked right in. Sometimes expectations are beyond unrealistic and approach the area of being unreasonable.

One of my goals when I walk into any establishment that deals with employee-customer interaction is to be as friendly as possible. Although I “expect” to get good service, it isn’t always the case. So I have made it my personal “goal” to get good service. Remember, a goal is something that one has some control over. So if I act nice and friendly to the person that is serving me, chances are I will get better service. Employees have it rough sometimes, so an extra smile and acknowledgment from the customer goes a long way.

Is it an unrealistic expectation to get great customer service everywhere? Absolutely. Can you control whether you get good service or not? To an extent. I personally make it my goal to get good service rather than expecting everybody out there to be at my beck-and-call.

Expectations and Driving

How many times have you layed on the horn because some idiot cut you off? If you are like most people, probably a lot. But ask yourself why you got so angry at somebody else’s bad driving in the first place? You control the feelings you have, which includes the anger you probably felt when your life was suddenly put in danger. Was the anger from an unrealistic expectation that perhaps everyone on the road should drive safely?

Once again, when I am on the road, my goal is to be a safe driver. That is the only part of driving I can personally control. I drive very defensively — fast, but defensively. Expecting every driver out there to drive according to my standards is beyond unrealistic.

Think about your reactions (positive or negative) the next time you are driving. Do you find your driving-mood correlates to how well other drivers are behaving according to your expectations?


Expectations are something that one has very little control over. Goals are something that are worked towards and can typically only be achieved through one’s personal effort. To rely on one’s expectations to achieve anything is pretty unrealistic.

Do you find yourself a victim of someone else’s expectations? Do you have unrealistic expectations of others? If either is the case, please leave a comment describing your experience.

That’s my 500 Words.

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