Letter No 16 - To expect or not to expect?

Dear friend,

In seventh grade, I made friends with a 'new boy' who had joined our school just that year. His family was half Indian and half German. At that time, this was quite rare and I would even say exotic. His lunch dabba was sandwiches with mustard mayonnaise. We had never heard of something like that!

He and I quickly became friends and started bonding over some robotic toys he had brought from Germany. I too had a small robotic set my parents had bought from me from their trip abroad. We had a great time together. We loved hanging out together and chatting about our wild robotic ideas. I shared all my stuff with him and expected that he too would shared his stuff with me.

But, it turned out that there were some toys that he was super possessive about. Those were for him only. When I asked what was in that cupboard, he would change the topic. Finally, it was his mother who told me that he did not like to share those things with anyone.

I felt very hurt. I felt I had opened all my stuff with him, even my home chemistry lab. I had let him into all my cool thoughts and things and here was this guy who did even want to tell me about his secret stuff, let alone share them with me.

I expected him too. I thought it was but natural. From there on we slowly drifted apart. I could not bear the thought that he was keeping this wall between us. Both of us moved on.


I would have loved it if he shared those toys with me. But I could not accept that he didn't want to. I allowed it to sour our friendship.

I want that my friend should make time to hang out with me this weekend. I want my people to be sensitive to what I am feeling and what my needs are. I want my wife to understand me. I want my students to break their comfort zones and push their boundaries. I want my colleagues to do the 100 burpees a day for 30 days challenge and not give in to their mental chatter.

I want so many things. And they are all very beautiful things. But if they don't happen I get rattled. I sometimes take it personally and make it out as thought they are doing it to spite me, or that they are doing in spite of my efforts and good intentions.


Desire is the driver of human achievement. Desire makes us set goals, face obstacles, break mental barriers, and push higher. Desire gives us a sense of purpose. Desire propels us towards a better life for ourselves and for others. Desire gives us the energy requires to change and improve our life situations. In my book, desire is not a bad thing.

But desire without acceptance gives rise to expectations. And unfulfilled expectations take away our peace of mind.

Desire - Acceptance = Expectation + Hurt

Desire + Acceptance = Expectation + Progress


Have a look at this image. What are the thoughts that come into your mind?

How are these thoughts connected with acceptance?

What can we learn about acceptance from nature?

I'm going to leave you to think about this. Feel free to share any thoughts you feel like.


Acceptance is a power.

Acceptance is freedom.

Acceptance is flow.

Acceptance is creativity.

Acceptance is beautiful.

Acceptance is humility.

Acceptance is natural.

Acceptance is forward looking.


Sure, have expectations from people, especially the ones you love. Without expectations it is impossible have a relationship.

But learn to accept when your expectations are not met. Don't let it break your heart!

Acceptance dissolves the rust of unmet expectations from our hearts.

Accept and move forward. Relate with an open heart. Love.


As an entrepreneur, a student or a professional, this combination of desire + acceptance is very important.

Desire the best. Raise the bar.

Accept what emerges. Adapt.

Desire again.

Don't ever get stuck. Keep moving.

This the key to nurturing the true spirit of enterprise in our lives - personal and professional.


If you are struggling with acceptance, here is something you might find relaxing:

I'm gonna dance dance dance and it's not gonna hurt

Dance Dance Dance
Koi bhi na milta mujh se, sabh hi khapha hai mujh-se

Khud Se

Unwind yourself and get UNSTUCK.

Sending you a big hug. Would love to hear from you whenever you feel like writing back.

With love and regards,