When’s the last time you said, ‘I expect…,’ instead of saying, ‘I appreciate…’?

Having expectations can help us become the best version of ourselves. Achieving our expectations helps measure personal growth and can open up additional opportunities. However, if we don’t take the time to appreciate how far we have come, the road will feel extremely long and the journey too hard. 

I remind myself that choosing to be focused only on reaching a particular expectation may have me forget to appreciate the most valuable aspects of my life – like relationships, family-work-life balance, and emotional/mental well-being. It can be too easy to focus attention on what we expected to happen or on what we think should be happening, causing us to feel frustrated, overwhelmed, disappointed and sad. 


Choose to enjoy the journey and learn to give yourself a break when you miss the mark. Although you may try your hardest to avoid this, sometimes you will miss the target you have set for yourself. It’s all part of the process – it’s what helps shape you- it’s what allows you to see and appreciate ‘the little things’ in life.

Reminding ourselves ‘to stop and smell the roses’ quickly shifts our mindset from expectation to appreciation which has us feel more gratitude, happiness, and fulfillment.

What I have learned is that by being open to life’s detours it opens us up for a new adventure where we can often find a new path. The DETOURS can be the best part of the TOUR!  When we choose to only focus on what we expected to achieve or what we wanted to occur we lose sight of the beauty and learning that can come from the detours in our lives.  


When I was travelling to BC I expected that my holiday would be stress free – a time to relax and have fun. Then the detour happened…my purse was stolen. I was sad, angry, disappointed and overwhelmed. After awhile my mum suggested I write 3 things I could be grateful for from this disheartening incident. I was shocked. What could I possibly appreciate? I decided to give it a try. I took pen to paper and wrote:

  1. The kindness and generosity of the people around me who wanted to replace the items in my purse.
  2. My brother-in-law immediately started to find ways to get me new identification so I could board the plane home.
  3. A fun shopping trip with my mum to replace my purse.

It worked! When I chose to focus on what I appreciated rather than what I expected I found it easier to let go of the tough emotions I was experiencing and I was able to bounce back much quicker than I normally would.

Have your doubts that this works? Try it for seven days. It will not only help you, your children and your students bounce back from challenging times and tough emotions but it will also help create an ‘attitude of gratitude’ mindset.

Until next time…