letting go of expectations

I wrote up a story to share with you this week. I’ll get to that in a minute. But first, there’s something I want you to know.

During the past several months I’ve been undergoing a tremendous amount of personal growth. A transformation, really. In many ways, I don’t feel like I’m the same man I was a year ago. If we’re lucky, we have multiple times of transformation throughout our lives. This has been a pretty significant one for me.

One of the results of my growth, ironically, is that I’ve decided to quit being an “expert”. And by that, I mean I’ve decided to stop giving advice.

Oh, I still plan on finding lessons in every day life, collecting metaphors like they’re on clearance at Macy’s, and mixing in my stupid sense of humor as much as I feel I can get away with.

But I will no longer be telling you what to do. You won’t see phrases like “you should” or “you must” or “you need to” in my writing anymore.

You see, I have no idea what you should, must, or need to do. Just because something works for me does not mean it will work for you.

Instead, I’m returning to my roots as a writer and a storyteller, and kicking the expert advice-giver to the curb. I’m still going to write and speak about living a superpowered life, but I’m going to write about the only thing I’m truly an expert in — me. Well, not so much ME (B-O-R-I-N-G), but what I experience and observe in the world around me (NOT boring at all).

I’ll keep sharing what I’m learning in my own pursuit of a superpowered life, but I’m going to leave it up to you to figure out if there’s a lesson for you in what I experience.

Part of my definition of a superpowered life is living as authentically as possible. When I present myself as an expert, I almost always feel like a bit of a fraud. When I stick to simply sharing my experiences, my observations, and my humor, well, I feel a lot more like me. And that’s where I want to play from now own.

Thanks for sticking with me. And if you’d rather bail and find someone who will tell you what to do, I’m ok with that. You do you.

Now that I’ve got that off my chest, here’s the post I had all written up and ready to go…

You’re gonna like this story.

Recently, at Milestone 229 restaurant, the hostess asked us if we wanted to sit outside, to which we replied, “YESSS!”

She then proceeded to walk us through the entire patio to the very last table on the street side of the patio, in the corner, against the wall. The OTHER side of the patio, mind you, looks over the very cool dancing play fountain at Bicentennial Park.

I was a tiny bit annoyed (gross understatement), especially since there were obviously tables open on the fountain side.

Grumbling profusely in my mind, I was just about to ask for a different table when I looked up and saw this beautiful scene across the street in front of me.

I instantly relaxed (melted is probably a more accurate term). Something about this view resonated with me, like 1000 % more than the fountains ever would have.

This was NOT my first (or second or third) choice of table this time, and now I’ll probably request it the next time I eat there.

It is taking me forever, but I am slowly learning that if I just let go of what I *think* I want, life usually works out even better.

Do your expectations ever get in your way like mine do? Leave a comment below or add your thoughts via social media with the links below. Be sure to tag @superpoweredlife so I can see what you wrote!

6 replies
  1. Dave
    Dave says:

    Great post. Nice observation – and even better intro. I hope that I can emulate – as I seem to have the same issue.

  2. Kimberly Cromwell
    Kimberly Cromwell says:

    Loved your story Mark. Reminds me of the “Be Here Now” concept and the importance of mindfulness. I love reading your stories. Keep ’em coming. And thank you for being the authentic YOU.

  3. Allen
    Allen says:

    Great insight as always, I really like that you are changing your writing for you and not for us. I really don’t care if you are going to stop thinking of yourself as an “expert” because to me you will forever be an expert. If changing how you see yourself in that relationship keeps you being you than go for it. I always thought that was the best part of the Superpowered life idea, we are each experts and we are our best when we realize that and stop trying to be some other thing and just embrace what makes us who we are.

    As I was reading the first part I thought “change is hard I am glad others are working through it with me.” Then it hit me that change isn’t hard, fighting change is what is hard. We make these barriers in our heads that we think we are this person that can’t evolve, when in reality we change all the time. This past weekend I was “working” a bike race and at the end of the day a group of us got a chance to ride from the top of a mountain way down into town. At the start of the ride I was excited to ride with friends who are faster than me as a test to see how I am riding. After a while when they didn’t disappear down the trail I realized that I was actually better than I thought I was. Last year these same people would have left me in their dust, but over time I changed and got better. It wasn’t until I rode with them that I realized the change had even happened. Then after the ride I realized that in my head I was keeping myself behind them because I thought they were way better. What we tell ourselves about ourselves is very powerful.

    Then I read the second part and thought dam right that is actually the best seat in the house at Milestone 229. The fountains are nice and all, but I will take that little oasis over water squirting all over the pace every day of the week.

  4. Neil Arthur
    Neil Arthur says:

    Nice post Mark. I marvel at your willingness to share “you.” Not my most comfortable place.

    In response to your ‘intro’, I have a life-long friend who is a born-again Christian. Years ago she started conversations with lots of ‘you shoulds’ and I finally said that I would celebrate all that meant to her when she shared her learnings, but to please don’t try to ‘convert’ me. Our conversations are much heathier now.

    Your core message resonates because we are all on a journey. Sharing our lessons learned just might help someone learn those same lessons as it relates to them.

    I have a mid-fifties cousin who I just learned today that while her third brain surgery went well, the results were not so good. Reminds you that any one of us could get ‘hit by the bus’ today.

  5. Jacqueline
    Jacqueline says:

    Simply stated, deeply felt…I especially liked your post about your recent road trip with your brother. I was in the middle of writing a post about it, but I fell into a deep sleep and I don’t think I hit send. Always look forward to your thoughts and realities.


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