When my business partner and I ran our real estate investment business, we were doing very well. We had two offices in the UK and one in Dubai. Our team was 35 strong. And investment deals were materialising well for us. Our investors were happy.
It was a great trajectory. And we forecasted our future. We saw how quickly we could grow into a multi-million-pound business. We invested in bigger offices, more staff, and larger deals.
We started living this projected future in our (then) present-day reality. We spent a lot of money on this expected future with no appreciation for the present.
In 2008, the markets crashed. Global economies failed. We had enough money to survive for only 2 months. We had to let our team go, let our offices go, and operate out of our bedrooms.
Expectations cause us to behave in a way that is different from who we are. My partner and I were (and still are) well-grounded individuals. We are risk-averse and cautious with money.
But our expectations got the better of us.
Letting our team down and closing our business was heart-breaking. But we never stopped for a moment to appreciate where we were and what we had. It was the pursuit of growth and success that led to our downfall.
“I want to have a beach body in 6 months.”
“We will increase our turnover by 50% next year.”
“I’m definitely going to get promoted during my next review.”
Are these not perspectives on an undefined future? An opinion. Or a wish.
“I am grateful to be healthy so that I can train for a better physique.”
“So thankful that our business has grown so much in under two years, helping us support so many families.”
“I’m so happy to be in a job I love where I’m respected and they value my opinion.”
Think about that for a minute.
“If you died right now, what you lose is your present.”
How often do you appreciate what you have? How far you’ve come. What you’ve sacrificed to get here. What it’s taken you to make your present a reality.
In any given moment, you are thinking about the next moment. You’re planning a future by sacrificing your beautiful present. And yet, when you die, everything you lose is in your present.
Look around you. Do you not see a lot of “expectations” that have manifested themselves as your reality today?
But do you have an appreciation for that reality?
Moment to moment, you are trading your present to build a future that would one day please you. But when it arrives, you have already moved on to a different future. A new reality that your mind has imagined.
Your present is the culmination of all your hard work and sacrifice. It is the fulfilment of your “expectation” from the past.
You must learn to appreciate it.
If you cannot appreciate it, how can you expect anything else to come true?
The universe delivers what you ask for, but she never gets a “thank you” for it.
Close your eyes, and thank the universe for all that she’s given you.
Thank her for this moment. This life. The beauty around you.
Right this moment, trade your expectation for appreciation.
“Thank you for my present. I am exactly where I need to be.”