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Expectations & Frustration

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This is a post that is part of the The Best Advice I've Ever Gotten Blogging Series. You can read previous posts via this link 

In college, I had the chance to be involved in Chi Alpha Campus Ministries. And the reason I got involved, is because the Campus Pastor invited me to lunch while I was visiting a local church. Little did I know the impact of that day!  It was through Chi Alpha that I met my wife and really began to develop a framework for what discipleship can and should look like. 

Craig Woodham was the Campus Pastor at the time and his effect on my life has been incredibly impactful. I can remember the countless conversations we had about everything from football to dating to philosophy of ministry. I'm grateful for all the times he calmed me down, challenged me and shared what he learned from his experiences. Yet, there is one piece of advice that he gave me that I have never forgotten and I have shared many times. 

Unequal expectations equal frustration. - Craig Woodham

As I found myself, in various stages of my life, feeling frustrated - this advice came to mind. That as I relate to people, frustration exists because of unequal expectations. Now, we can't match our expectations to other people all the time (because if we did, we would never have an opinion or idea of our own), but I have to come to realize that a good majority of frustration exists in relationships at work or with friends because of unvoiced expectations. 

With that in mind, I've come to a place where I am growing in my self-awareness and more able to share my expectations, whether it be in my marriage or with a coworker. And when I find myself in frustrating situations, I remember these words which help me to zoom out and try to find perspective on both my expectations and those of the other person.  

I cannot blame others for not knowing what I have not communicated. But as a mentor and leader, I am responsible for uncovering my own expectations and discovering the expectations of others.  

I've heard it put like this - we can't really move forward unless we have an idea of where we're at and which direction we're currently moving. 

How could this advice apply to your life? Has anyone ever shared a piece of advice with you that you've held onto even years later?