Managing expectations

27 April 2020.


It was another normal day on Thursday, 23 April 2020. But it was a day when I felt the warmth of friendship, as a short email popped into my eyes.

The mail said: Dearest Francis, reading your recent posts, I could feel that you weren’t very happy. How are you? Is it work and life challenges that you are facing?

How nice to have received such a short, warm note from an internet friend from US. We have met only once (for a couple of days) and communicated mostly through emails, and yet, she could feel my emotions from afar.

After I blew my top last week on 20 April 2020, the government announced the extension of our “circuit breaker” till 01 June 2020. That means we will continue to be confined in our small little flats and people continue to walk from living room to the bedrooms, from bedrooms to toilet and then the kitchen and nowhere else.

This confinement proves to be more detrimental than I originally thought it is, as I have ever joked about more people getting depression.

Mom has been sitting in the living room for the whole day every day, doing nothing and barely spoke a word. I tried to show my concern and love by asking did she feel bored sitting whole day, and she would always give me a silly smile and said no.

I am honestly not sure did she understand what I was saying.

Dad’s condition did not improve as he continued to feel uneasy and weak. As I witnessed he slimmed down day by day with his face struggling in emotional pain, I felt pain within myself and tears shed in my heart. There is really nothing much I could do except to continue to share with him my thoughts on his condition.

I have used both soft and hard approaches on him, meditating with him, telling him off at times when his thoughts went too far off, anything that I could think of.

Perhaps, I have not fully learned and understood how to love a person unconditionally, for I am still having expectations of him to be able to manage his thoughts and emotions.

Work has slowed down but definitely not stopped. And the COVID19 situation has helped a little to a certain extent, for if it is normal situation now, with the way things are moving ridiculously, most of us would have gone “mad” over the madness of the management.

Sometimes, some people, especially the top management are still behaving that the world revolves around them, that everyone in the organisation need to focus on their interest.

I chanced upon this news on how Nokia has failed in the last 10 years, falling from a top mobile phone seller to what they are today and reflected upon how my management is behaving. I see some similarities in the management behaviours but who am I to say whether my company will thrive or fail?

Of course, I wish to be in a successful company.

However, looking at the way things are moving, I feel discouraged.

Perhaps, I have too high an expectations of what a leader should behave.

Perhaps, I am living in my own dream land, wishing that leaders should be the ones who stand up in front of us in times of need.

And such expectations become the problem of my own emotional challenges.

My expectations on my dad, my expectations on my loved one, my expectations on my managers and leaders, are all that caused me to feel very disappointed at certain point in time.

“Don’t blame people for disappointing you. Blame yourself for expecting too much from them.”

This quote has said it all.

Isn’t it true that our disappointments are due to our expectations? If we do not expect anything, there is nothing for us to be disappointed.

Such a simple truth and yet most of us do not really understand, and we continue to feel that the other parties, or the external world is the cause of all our emotional pains.

With no attachment, there’s no fear.

With no expectation, there’s no disappointment.

Let go, and we shall be free.

And I shall…


Francis Lim


    • Hi, thank you so much for your kind words. And also thank you for passing by my home. For me, this place is a place for me to let out and let go. There may be times when I am down, there will also be times when I will feel thankful. And that’s exactly what life is…


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