Here are expectation quotes that will equip you to live happily in a ‘world of expectations’: expectation in relationships, marriage expectations, expectations at office, expectations from God, and your own expectations in life. We have provided explanations after most of the quotes to help you gain a better and deeper understanding of what the quote conveys.
The greatest cause of anxiety is endless expectations. – Radhanath Swami
It is the nature of human ego that we become so filled with anxieties when we have expectations – because, in this world, you always don’t get what you expect. If we expect good weather and it is bad weather, it is very disturbing. If we expect to always be respected by our friends, or co-workers or other people in the world, we are not always going to get it.
The more we expect, the more we suffer when we don’t receive what we expect. And the more we get, the more we expect, and when we don’t get, the more we suffer. – Radhanath Swami
Renunciation or detachment means to be self-satisfied – that is, we don’t need anything. When we are not self-satisfied, the soul tries to find satisfaction somewhere else. If we are not finding satisfaction in our love for God and our compassion for all living beings, we are going to expect it from somewhere else.
Free your heart from hatred. Free your mind from worries. Live simply. Give more. Expect less. – Sachinandana Swami
Without gratitude you cannot be satisfied in the heart. Because without gratitude, whatever you get, you feel you deserve, and you want something more. Whatever you get, you feel that it’s expected. And when you don’t get what you want, you complain, and you blame others: ‘Why is the world against me?’ – Radhanath Swami
Real joy comes through service; real joy comes through serving without expecting anything material in return. When we do something and we get something in return, it gives satisfaction to the mind and to the senses, but it does little for the heart. Actual inner wealth is the propensity to serve—not to exploit, not to take, but to serve. – Radhanath Swami
In giving respect we can be very happy, because we can do it in all situations. When we expect respect we are miserable, because it is not that everyone in every situation will respect us. – Radhanath Swami
When we expect anything it is the seed of suffering; a grateful life is a peaceful life. – Radhanath Swami
The more you expect in return for what you’re doing, the more your heart feels the loneliness and emptiness.- Radhanath Swami
Half of sorrow we earn by expecting good things from wrong people and the other half we earn by detecting wrong things in good people. – Radhanath Swami
A saint is one who serves God with devotion, beyond the call of duty. And real devotion is unconditional and unmotivated service. A saint expects nothing in return. – Radhanath Swami
Who is a saint?
Is it the one who wears saffron clothes?
Is it the one with long beard and locks of matted hair?
Or, is it the one who can do some magical acts?
All these qualities don’t necessarily make a saint.
Some of the characteristics exhibited by a saint can be the following.
A saintly person lives a life of detachment according to injunctions of sacred texts, knowing that everything belongs to God and must be used in the service of God and humanity.
Saintly people are impartial, serving for everyone’s welfare. In their hearts they do not reject anyone. Because they see God in everyone’s heart, they accept everyone as brother and sister even though by social or moral convention they may be considered fallen, sinful, or corrupt.
Spiritually evolved people don’t consider themselves superior to anyone. They offers respect to everyone whether older or younger in age. If asked to take a superior position, a saint will accept only in the mood of a servant with the consciousness, “If this is what pleases you, I will do it.”
Out of compassion saints go out of their way, taking many risks just to help others. They are ready even to take the risk of losing their piety and accepting others sins. They are always in the mood of being the servant of the servant of the servant of the Lord.
An excellent way to overcome selfishness is by offering prayers for others. Sincere prayers for the well being of others enriches our own hearts with the Lord’s loving presence, and brings deep, lasting fulfilment; it also empowers us with the spiritual strength to serve others with no expectations.- Radhanath Swami
A prayer session is our exclusive appointment with God. Once someone asked me, “If God knows everything that’s there in our heart, what’s the need for us to offer our prayers to Him.” I agreed that God knows us in and out, yet He loves to see us pray to Him. He feels great joy to see us offer our will to Him and turn to Him. Although our prayers may lack the purity of the great souls’ prayers, nevertheless God derives pleasure as a parent feels great happiness in hearing the broken words of his or her child, attempting to speak. God is certainly pleased to see us take baby steps in prayers, even if they are incoherent and a distracted performance.
We often underutilize the instrument of prayer by carrying material expectations in our hearts and expecting God to reciprocate with our worldly aspirations. – Radhanath Swami
When we pray to God with expectations, although it’s a spiritually healthy move that we are at least turning to God, still it isn’t a relationship based on selfless love. A sincere prayer doesn’t necessarily guarantee a material solution to problems; it does however guarantee we remember God more, and thereby come closer to God. And that fills our heart with rich spiritual emotions and helps us transcend petty selfish pursuits.
If God gave you what you expected, you probably wouldn’t grow spiritually much at all. True spirituality is not about getting; true spirituality is about seeking shelter. And you get God only when you seek shelter. – Radhanath Swami
One of the diseased conditions of spiritual life is when we expect things to go our way: ‘I am serving God and this is the way God should deal with me. He should make my children scholars and obedient to me. He should give me and my family good health. My business should flourish. People should give me the honour and respect I am due.’ More or less we all expect like this. But this mentality is not in line with true spirituality.
So reversals will come, and they will come in way which we do not like. We can expect the unexpected. Sometimes it is our tendency to think, “I know reversals will come, and I know if I take shelter of God I will make advancement. But as far as the reversals are concerned, I will give my list of which reversals are acceptable.’ The problem is that God has His own list. But what appears to be a curse can be a blessing if we simply appreciate the inner essence of the possibility of how to connect to God in that situation.
We come to the platform where we don’t expect anything from others by cultivating humility. If we are proud, we feel that we deserve so many good things from so many people. If we are actually humble, we are grateful for whatever happens and for whatever that comes. – Radhanath Swami
When we are humble, when we are tolerant, when we respect others and don’t expect respect for ourselves, we attract God’s mercy, which awakens faith and love in our heart; then we will have realization of the eternal beauty of life at every moment. – Radhanath Swami
Faith is not something put into you, faith is awakened from within; the soul inherently has complete faith.
The vast majority of people are living a lie, because of the expectations of others. – Radhanath Swami
Often times we are judged according to how we dress, what kind of house we live in and the type of music we listen to. We are also influenced by the media. We are told how to look, talk and walk through the examples of celebrities.
Often times we face the identity crisis: ‘do people love me because of who I am? Or do people appear to love me because of what they want me to be? They show their love for me if I match their conception; else I am a social outcaste. That is a terrible social pressure. This leads to the development of so many habits and conditionings that become very deeply rooted in the heart. And all of these create an image in our mind of who we are and what we want in life. The environmental influences often create inner loneliness.
A person who realizes that he or she is having this ‘identity crisis’ is fortunate. The beginning of spiritual life is when we have this identity crisis and we sincerely start inquiring: ‘Who am I? What is the meaning of life? Why is there suffering? Who is God? What is my relationship with God?’
How rare, special and intelligent is that person who really wants to have a deep, fulfilling meaning to their life! To do that you may have to cross over so many barriers. People will ridicule you and not understand you. But do we want to sell our eternal soul to the cheap popularity of this world which never lasts anyway? That is the most important question in our lives.
When children are accustomed to getting whatever they expect, when they grow up, they are going to expect the same. But the problem is, as an adult you do not get whatever you expect. And then there is anxiety, depression. – Radhanath Swami
Hoping for the best but expecting the worst
Life throws up unpleasant surprises; we can always expect the unexpected. In those situations prayers help us access the special mercy of the Lord. – Radhanath Swami
A student once asked me if it helps to write letters to God. I said, “Of course it does.”
“Do you also write letters to God?”
I said, “I am not as much of a writer as I am a prayer. I love to pray.” Whether it’s writing a letter to God or talking to Him, a heartfelt prayer always helps us connect to God more intimately.
As a child I often prayed in bed, until I fell asleep. In prayer I found a sense of shelter, and felt that someone was listening to me. I still pray, having learned as a child that it’s the most powerful tool to perceive God’s presence in our lives and touch Him with our thoughts.
Certain situations can be extremely painful and our intelligence fails to reason how this could be a blessing of the Lord. At such times we can try humbly submitting a prayer, “Oh God, please give me the strength to see this unexpected situation as your mercy although my intelligence fails to see it so”. This way we can tap the so far concealed grace of the Lord, and develop gratitude for all inconceivable situations that God arranges for us in our lives.
While swimming in an ocean, you may sometimes face huge waves, and as you swim high on them you enjoy the experience. However when the waves strike you unexpectedly, you struggle, being dragged down helplessly. The waves keep changing every moment, but if you are rightly anchored, the waves can’t threaten you. Similarly in life, we sometimes face the waves of success and sometimes the waves of failures, and suffering strike us unexpectedly. If we are anchored on Krishna, God, we will be sober and peaceful during both situations, and won’t be dragged into extreme display of emotions. – Radhanath Swami
As we pass through life, we come across unexpected experiences: crisis, disaster, failure, success, honour, dishonour, pleasure, pain, happiness, distress, health and disease. This is a world of dualities; you cannot avoid dualities. But a great soul, like the sky, remains neutral under all circumstances, his or her mind fixed on the remembrance of the Lord. – Radhanath Swami
Everything is within the sky, but the sky remains neutral. Sometimes it’s a nice sunny day, sometimes there are clouds in the sky, and sometimes there are cyclones blowing under the sky. Whatever is coming and going, the sky remains neutral. Similarly, we are eternal souls, and the more we realize our souls, the more we realize our eternal unchanging nature. The more we live by our nature of service to God and service to all others, the more we can remain stable, whatever passes through our life. Whether cyclones come or sunny days, knowing that they are all transient, we can take shelter of what is permanent.
When people travel abroad, far from their loved ones, they live simply by knowing that they are being remembered. On their birthday, most people really do not expect gifts from their near and dear ones. They simply desire that that they should be remembered on their birthday; our heart feels the satisfaction of being loved when there is some knowledge that a person is remembering us. – Radhanath Swami
In this material world, the more intimate your relationship is, the more you expect that person to be what you want them to be. – Radhanath Swami
If we expect that our spouse will tolerate whatever tantrums we throw, then we will suffer. Instead, if we learn to be grateful in all situations, the unwelcome situations in the world would not disturb us too much. We will thus be able to remain joyful. And this joy will nourish the relationship between husband and wife.
To the degree we expect respect in a relationship, to that degree we will be quarrelsome. – Radhanath Swami
Holding a grudge against somebody is like drinking poison expecting the other person to die. – Anonymous
Someone gives you something, you don’t say thank you – hey, don’t expect they’re going to give you much more. – Indradyumna Swami
Expect the Unexpected
Finally, after over an hour, a beautiful sight rose before my eyes. The Yamuna River, descended from the Himalayas, having flowed through the plains of North India, was embracing Mother Ganges—Yamuna with her complexion of deep blue, Ganges with hers of white, and the transparent Saraswati joined them from below.Sitting on the sandy bank, I gazed into the cloudless blue sky. There, a hawk, wings extended, soared the airways. His reddish-brown feathers shone in the sun as he hovered lower and lower, till he was just a few yards above my head, his glistening yellow eyes intently scanning the river. Suddenly he plunged headlong into the Ganges. There, a frantic underwater skirmish ensued until he emerged with a flapping fish, about a foot long, pierced in the grip of his talons. Squirming desperately, the fish was carried overhead and into a nearby forest. Looking on I reflected:
The unsuspecting fish, who knew nothing but a life in the river, went about its routine like any other day, but in an instant was ripped out of its reality to meet with death. Like that fish, we routinely live our lives hardly aware that, at the least expected moment, the yellow-eyed hawk of fate in the form of crises, tragedy, or even death, may wrench us out of our comfortable environment. We regularly hear of it in the news or see it around us but rarely take seriously that it could happen to us. Perhaps the lesson here is to guard against complacency and give higher priority to our spiritual needs. If the fish swam deeper, the hawk would not be able reach it. Similarly, if we go deeper into our connection to God, we will find an inner reality so deep and so satisfying that it lifts the consciousness to a place where we could deal with the effects of unforeseeable fate with a stable, detached mind. – Radhanath Swami (Excerpt from The Journey Home Book)
The fact is, we never expect we’re going to die.- Indradyumna Swami
Often the most precious gifts of life come in ways, we neither plan nor expect. – Radhanath Swami