Expectations and Openness

In my last post, I wrote about The Quicksand of Expectations. Shortly after writing it, I read the following in Alice Walker’s new book, A Cushion In The Road :

“ Many years ago I wrote a poem that began: Expect Nothing. Live frugally on surprise. It was to remind myself of a difference between expectation, which is often unfulfilled, and openness, which holds a space for what is not only unexpected but almost unimagined.”

I wonder what to do with this. Expectations come naturally, but they can close you in. Are expectations to be avoided? I do not think so, but it is possible to keep yourself open, even if you have expectations. That would take some skill. Do you think expectations are to be avoided? Do they inhibit openness and possibility?

What do Alice Walker’s ideas about expectations and openness say to you as a manager?


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