Expectations Ahoy!

The year the Pittsburgh Pirates took a giant leap towards repairing their abysmal image in professional sports. For the past 20 years they not only had never gone to the playoffs. They had never won more games than they had lost either. Their collective record over the last 20 seasons was 1374-1796 for a mere .434 winning percentage. That's just horrible.

This year, however, they went 94-68 for a .580 winning percentage. That didn't just break their streak for them. It smashed it. It showed that they weren't just good enough. They were GOOD.

So when they made the playoffs and won the wildcard game, the expectation was that they could go to the World Series and really have a shot at winning it.

Instead, they got eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. It was crushing. In the back of my head I knew that I should be happy that they gave me a great season of baseball to follow and a thrilling playoff run. I even got to go to one of their playoff games (a 5-3 nail-biter). But I wanted them to win more. I wanted them to win it all. So I was disappointed for a time.
Setting expectations for ourselves can be very important. We expect to do a great job at work. Great job parenting our children. Be a great husband, student, runner, hockey player, son, brother. The list goes on and on.

Sometimes, though, we do a really great job and still fall short of our goal. I finished the race I entered but fell short of my time goal. I passed my test but only got a B. I washed all the fleishig dishes in the house and then found a small stack on the dining room table. There are so many examples of things like this. The important thing is to celebrate the success and continue to push for perfection. When I get wrapped up in the 5-10% of what I didn't accomplish and don't celebrate the 90-95% of what I did accomplish, I lose my drive to succeed.

The same thing goes with parenting. I have very high expectations for my children, based on what I know and feel that they can accomplish. Sophie started walking at 9 months old. That's an amazing accomplishment. I can't focus on the fact that she falls down a lot. I have to celebrate her success and keep helping her get better. When Yaeli doesn't let me help her put on her shoes, I should celebrate the fact that she knows how to put them on her feet (not tie them yet) and not get so upset that she's making us late.

The lesson here is simple. Keep setting goals and celebrate the successful parts while still pushing to complete the whole thing.

No comments:

Post a Comment