Expectations of life can be anyway one wants them to be, but when things don’t work out as expected, don’t attach a created story to it; without a created story one will be able to move on.
Attachment and expectation are very similar in their nature and if one’s mind isn’t quiet it’ll be very difficult to distinguish them from each other. They do warrant an explanation of their differences mainly because it can be somewhat confusing.
Although expectations can lead to disappointments, they are different than attachments because whether the expectation is fulfilled or not, it usually ends there. You expect something, it happens or it doesn’t happen and you move on, but once it occurs how it’s held onto causes the transition for the occurrence to become an attachment. You can really see this for yourself in the following examples.
One expects a certain outcome from something planned and if the outcome is different than what’s expected, you deal with it and move on. But what can happen instead of moving on is a story is created and one attaches to it as their conditioning dictates, this is what determines the severity of the attachment. So now you have attachment because the expectation is being held onto as the reality of the outcome, this is what makes it difficult to move on. This is also how the transition from an expectation to an attachment occurs.
Let’s take golf as another example, if you expect to hit a certain shot and it doesn’t come off in the way that it’s expected, it would be time to move on, or you can carry the miss hit with you onto the next shot, sometimes to the next hole, and sometimes it will be carried the entire round. So you see there’s a definite difference between the two, but a lot of time it’s only when the mind is quiet that this difference will be noticed. One can expect life to be anyway that it’s wanted, but when it doesn’t work out as expected, don’t attach to it so there’s no story created and with no created story one will be able to move on.