Expectations can change your life. I heard a pastor say once, “expectation is the breeding ground for miracles.” Meaning if you expect nothing, you will get nothing. This philosophy makes sense when you consider it. But what do we do when expectations overwhelm us and our relationships? My next Build On Beauty guest talks about just that.
Meet DeVon Franklin. Award-winning Hollywood producer, motivational speaker, preacher, author, and brother in the faith. He recently launched a new book entitled LIVE FREE, Exceed Your Highest Expectations. And we talked about it extensively in our podcast episode titled LIVE FREE. DeVon brought to light how expectations can help our lives, business, and relationships. But he also made us aware of how our expectations can hinder us. So before I share those lessons, let’s learn a little more about DeVon Franklin.
DeVon Franklin was born in the Bay Area of California. After learning of his story, it was clear to me that he was destined for greatness at an early age. He preached his first sermon at the age of 15. And sought out early to become a changemaker in Hollywood. He scored an internship at Will Smith’s management company. And later got the opportunity to work with Will Smith and his family. The two remain friends to this day. During DeVon’s interview for his internship with Will Smith’s management company. DeVon was asked why did he want to work in Hollywood. Mind you; he’s about 19 years old. His response was, “I want to make a change.” He was resolute even then about what he wanted, but yet still, he wasn’t sure how it would happen or if it would happen at all. Yet he pursued anyway. And worked his way up to becoming an executive at Sony Pictures to now the CEO of his own production company (Franklin Entertainment), a sought-after speaker, and author of several books, including his latest work, LIVE FREE.
In our conversation, DeVon gave us the reality regarding expectations. We covered several ways expectations help and hinder us. For the full list, listen to the LIVE FREE episode. But here, I want to cover 3 expectations that stand out most. These expectations are so common it’s scary. If you have not been guilty of them yourself, you certainly know someone that has imposed them on another. The first expectation we must avoid and quickly do away with is an unrealistic expectation. These are expectations that you put on yourself and others. But they’re impossible to obtain or comply with. They’re unrealistic because they defy one’s ability. What do I mean? You can’t walk into a law firm and say I want a job as a lawyer, and you’ve never been to law school. And you know very little if anything at all about the law. So this kind of expectation to me is not only unrealistic but foolish. DeVon understood this years ago when he set his heights on becoming a Hollywood executive. He knew he couldn’t walk into Will Smith’s management firm and expect placement on the next upcoming project. He had to earn his way to the top. Learn about the business. Get mentorship. And find his voice, his niche, his style within the Hollywood space. And in the same manner, we must too learn before we can teach. Follow before we can lead. Grind before we can become great.
The second expectation we talked about in our LIVE FREE episode is unset expectations. Unset expectations are those expectations that we assume another is aware of. This happens quite often in relationships. For example, two people start dating, and one person expects the other to do something. However, that can only happen when you establish a foundation for which your relationship will be built.
This leads me to the third expectation, and that is unspoken expectations. These are expectations that are set but only in your own mind. For example, only you know that your man is supposed to take you out every weekend. And call you every night. But when he doesn’t, you end up with an attitude. But the only one to blame is you. You established these expectations in your mind. But completely forgot to communicate them to the one that matters most, your partner. As a result, you walk around disappointed in him. When what you’re really dealing with is unspoken expectations.
I know these things seem like common sense. But you’d be surprised how many people walk around angry. And how many relationships get torn apart. Simply because we forgot to communicate. Which in all of these instances, communication will make the difference. If you communicate honestly, you’ll be less likely to build your life on unrealistic expectations. If you communicate with your partner more effectively, your partner will clearly understand your relationship’s expectations. And your partner will have the opportunity to agree to your terms or disagree. Thus setting or unsetting your expectations. And obviously, if they’re unable to set those expectations for themselves. Then, you’re left to find ways to compromise or move on and go your separate ways.
The thought of such a concept is so freeing. To think of the time, we waste all because we fail to communicate. To LIVE FREE to me is more about personal responsibility than anything else. We all play an important role in our own success. Be it financial, relational, or otherwise. It’s time we free ourselves by taking responsibility and maintaining our position maturely. – CJ