Juan David’s Newsletter - March 12th, 2023
Expect the Unexpected: Finding Contentment Through Flexible Expectations
Ah, March has arrived, three months after the year began. And here we are, already halfway through the semester, eight weeks already passed. What does this all mean? Spring break, my friends.
At this point in my life, saying time went too fast is more than a cliché. It's something that happens often, but not always. When we say time flew, it's usually because reality fell below our expectations.
So, yes, time went too fast, and I look back and feel like I haven't done much. But why do I say this? I haven't learned as much in my classes as I'd hoped. I haven't fully committed to my projects. I haven't written as many essays or read as much as I'd have liked to. I didn't do this, I didn't do that...
There are times for sprinting (focused direction) and times for walking (unquestioned exploration). For most of the year, I've been wandering too much, and that's okay. I cannot always be sprinting. But now, as I inhale a deep breath, I smell the sweet fragrance of blooming flowers carried on a gentle breeze, and I know it's time to shed my lethargy and embrace the vibrancy of spring. It's a season of renewal, a time to awaken from my slumber and start sprinting toward new horizons.
How will I make this happen?
First, I'll go to bed early so I can rise with the sun, read and write in the morning, and still have time for my 3+ mile run. Then, I'll spend the day focusing on my comparative advantage. There may be a beautiful detour, but I'll come back stronger, with the focus of a warrior, where everything depends on life and death.
As I reflect on my life, I am filled with a deep sense of gratitude for the gift of existence. However, there are moments when I find myself in need of a clear direction to realign my intuition. It's during these times that I delicately recalibrate my intuition like an antenna, so that I may enter a state of sprinting, where I am no longer in search of answers but instead following the path ahead with renewed clarity and purpose.
Speaking of purpose, the other day someone asked me how I was doing. Without a second thought, I replied "Always good." This response seemed to puzzle the person, who asked what I meant. When they inquired further, I explained that I have never had a "bad" day in my life.
"But never?" they probed. "Has your dog ever died?"
"I've never had a dog," I responded.
To many, my response may seem overly optimistic or even unrealistic. However, I believe that our feelings about the world are closely tied to our expectations. For example, I could have set myself up for disappointment by expecting to wake up at 6 AM, run a bunch of miles, be super productive, and attend class by 9 AM. But when I woke up at 7:30 AM instead, I could have complained and berated myself for not meeting my goals. However, I chose to be flexible with my expectations and adapt to the situation at hand.
This is no more than a silly example but adapting your expectations quickly and often are the key to always having a good day, and therefore, a good life.
The importance of flexible expectations lies in the difference between feeling constantly disappointed by life's imperfections and finding contentment despite its unpredictability.
Juan David Campolargo
This is all relative! Come on! One thing I could look back on was talking to this guy on Wednesday about writing a book. He told me he wanted to write a book after he graduated college. Here’s how the conversation went:
Me: Why write the book after college?
Him: I don’t know.
Me: Why don’t you publish it before the end of the year?
Him: Yeah, I could do that.
Me: Why don’t you finish a 30,000 word draft by next week?
Him: (gets excited) I could actually do that!
Me: I’ll text you in a few days
I texted him yesterday and he said, he had already started. Perhaps, not the most productive thing of all in the short-term personally but long-term this could have a crazy impact on the world!
I really liked your final reflection on expectations - very stoic! Take care.