Lower your expectations


When I was 14 years old, I did a mass building workout from Arnold’s Encyclopedia of Bodybuilding.

I expected the workout to make me look like Arnold by the end of the month.

It didn’t live up to expectations. But it did make me bigger and stronger.

arnold encyclopedia modern bodybuilding

When I was seven years old my parents took me to Disney World. I expected it to be the climax of my life.

It didn’t live up to expectations. But it did give me some great memories with my family.


In 2008 I started volunteering at an organic farm. I expected it to make me a master organic farmer.

It didn’t live up to expectations. But it did help me learn more about which vegetables grow best in Colorado.


In 2010 I started using chia seeds in Super Shakes. I expected them to revolutionize my nutrition.

They didn’t live up to expectations. But they did prove to be a good source of protein, fiber and omega-3s.


You’d think I’d have learned my lesson by now. I need to lower my expectations.

Don’t get me wrong. I think exercise, vacations, volunteering and nutrition are powerful things. They can improve energy, health, mood, and so forth. But are they ever “too good to be true?” Will they fix everything that’s wrong with our lives?

How many times do our unrealistically high expectations leave us disappointed?

We have high expectations with diet programs, superfoods, supplements, books, workout routines, exercises, and a fit body.

Over and over we expect these things to be miracles that will change our life. This never really occurs.

I need to remind myself that:

  • Arnold’s bodybuilding workout is just a series of exercises to overload the muscles and create growth.
  • Chia seeds are just a food with concentrated levels of nutrients.
  • An organic farm is just a place that grows organic food.
  • A trip to Disney World is just an excursion to Florida that consists of fun rides and a neat hotel.

Instead of constantly chasing the next miracle, or being disappointed because your experiences didn’t live up to your imagination, try lowering your expectations and seeing things for what they really are. You’ll feel a lot more content, and a lot more proud of small accomplishments.

Pursue excellence if you wish — but keep it real and enjoy the journey.

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