Intention vs. Expectation
I had an important business meeting with a client. The client was to leave for Mumbai after our meeting in Delhi. The night before I too had travelled, so was feeling quite tired and got lazy in getting up for the meeting in morning.
When finally I checked the time it was 9:30 am. A stream of nervousness ran across my body. My meeting was scheduled for 10:30 am and I was to drive 20 kms to reach my office. My intention was to be on time for this important meeting. So, I rushed to get ready and reach office.
Since it was Monday, the traffic was heavy and I reached late for the meeting. It was already 11:30 am and everyone was just staring at me. The client was there before time and had been waiting for me with two cups of coffee already. His train was schedule for 1 pm and he was to leave office by 12pm at any cost to reach railway station.
I felt so terrible and embarrassed to even say anything. My mind was completely blocked and kept complaining about Monday rush, myself etc. Due to fear of losing this important client, I was talking nervously even though the meeting could have gone fairly well in remaining 30 mins with the expertise that I had. But nothing seemed working.
It was then that the client said his train was late by an hour so, I can continue with the presentation without nervousness and worry. Hearing this I was relaxed and my presentation went so well that we got that client to sign the deal. The incident was learning experience to be punctual.
On Contrary, now imagine a situation where in, client’s train was on time and due to nervousness and the meeting would have gone terrible. The deal ruining would have caused frustration and anger and my mind would have been complaining about things instead of acting logically. In this situation, I would not have been able to think appropriately and no learning would have even crossed my mind.
This incident exhibits the issue that comes with frustration and anger. Frustration mobilizes one’s energy and emotion and damages our capability to think logically for finding a solution.
Hence, the difference between intention and expectation seems same but doing something with an expectation or doing something setting an expectation is entirely different. There is a huge difference between the two words – Intention & Expectation.
If we do not expect anything for a deed or action, then even a little achievement in this regard result in infinite happiness or satisfaction.
So we can say, Happiness (H) = Achievement (A) / Expectation (E)
The literal meaning of expectation as it appears in dictionary is ‘a strong belief that something will happen or be the case; or a belief that someone will or should achieve something.’
An expectation can meet with success or failure depending whether expectation is realized. Expectation always leaves a scope for argument once it meets reality. When we expect something there arises possibility of how it should/ must have/ have to be and consciously or not a story is created.
Expectation doesn’t define an intention or motivation of a person instead it shows a desire for the outcome. A result of the expectation depend upon several factors – Internal and External, over which we cannot have full control.
There is always uncertainty involved in the actual achievement of results despite our best intentions and efforts. Anticipating result for any action involves lots of anxiety, tension and fear of not achieving the desired result.
There is huge difference between a person living with an expectation and a person living with an intention.
Any action or deed with expectation depends on realization of result with reality.
Literally meaning ‘something that we want and plan to do.’ Intention is derived from Latin word ‘intendere’ which means to give consideration, turn to or focus one’s attention, to have a plan, to think, conjecture or purpose.
So, intention simply means a motivation & aim and is not at all linked to outcome or the result of any action / deed. Hence, we can pay full attention to our efforts for the work to complete or the process/journey which leads to result which is not expected.
When an intention is involved behind any work, one is open to receive any outcome and there could be possibility of different results. An intention involves learning. One gets an opportunity to learn, analyse and stay alert for getting better outcome.
An intention doesn’t hold ay fear of lose, failure, hence, one is able to enjoy the process, journey or work more than a person who sets expectations. A mind which is free of fear, control and greed is often righteous and a good result can be obtained.
In short, we can say, intention simply means an impulse which gives structure and direction to creative energy. This energy tends to realize positive outcome unlike expectations.
Simran with an intention to lose weight started exercising. She was quite hefty and wanted to lose 10 kg and started running. Every day she did brisk walking and running for half an hour. She was expecting to reduce 5 kg in almost 2 months and 10 kg in almost 4 months.
However, after 2 months her weight got down by only 1 kg and she got very disappointed. Not knowing what went wrong she was highly depressed for 2 weeks with the result after so much efforts. This was the time when one of her friends suggested to get a coach who would help her achieve the expected result.