2 thoughts that keep going into my head lately
Lately my mind has been occupied by two main ideas, especially since moved back to Hong Kong, namely:
- Reasonable expectations and realistic expectations are not the same thing.
- Limitations and freedom are actually two sides of the same coin.
Perhaps the fact that living in Hong Kong is stressful changes the way I see things. Perhaps I'm just growing. I feel that these two thoughts have been a theme of the reoccurring ideas that I have lately, and principles that help me make almost every major decision lately.
Realistic expectations are not reasonable expectations
I suppose we all realize this, in our own ways, as we mature. I knew that it is important to keep my expectations realistic. What I didn't know was what being "realistic" really means.
My perception of realistic expectations were more like reasonable expectations, which could either be what usually follows when this or that happens, or what a reasonable person would do in response to something. I expect the most probable or common outcome to follow.
However, just because something is probable, it doesn't mean it must happen; just because some action is the right thing to do, it certainly doesn't mean we would do it. As you could imagine, my version of "realistic expectations" could get idealistic very easily.
Simply put, having realistic expectations to me now means anticipating the full range of possibilities out there, good or bad, and especially the probable and bad ones. It's kind of a "hope for the best and prepare for the worst" mentality if you will.
Life is just full of unreasonable things. And this is exactly the reason why I see the two differently now. There are just lots of things that just don't make sense and that's natural. Realistic expectations are not reasonable expectations.
Limitations and Freedom are two sides of the same coin
This is another re-occurring thought in my head lately. By limiting what you don't care for or what you don't have time for, you have more resources to spare on things that truly matter to you. But I realize that's not good enough.
Most of us probably have many interests in life but finite energy to pursue them. Sometime these "interests" are distractions while sometimes they are legitimate goals that measurable and actually helpful.
By being ruthlessly honest with myself, weeding out the distractions, prioritizing what matters the most, and maintaining this very mindset, I'm slowing learning how to achieve things that matter. It's not just about how many "NOs" I can say to the distractions but also about how consistent I can do it.
I'm not saying that I'm winning in life. I definitely feel that there are tons of things I can work on. But I do feel that my life is heading somewhere, and that's all I want right now.