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Great Expectations.

Expectations are formed early on in life. Over time, environment, culture and experiences groom your thought-life, training you to expect the best or the worst of every scenario and personal encounter, minor or major. When overlaid with dysfunction, these factors can lead to the corrosion of outlook, resulting in an entitlement mindset or life of doubt and self-abasement. Interpersonal relationships can also have a major influence on your expectations, particularly with family. Unrealistic or lowered expectations can go viral through the family tree via the flawed perspective of a parent or elder, looking to confirm or rebuild their lack of or inflated sense of self-worth through the next generational branch.

In many instances, the quality of faith has been equated with the hope and urgency of expectation. Given the frailty and nearsightedness of human experience and beliefs from which expectations are derived, a life lived solely by expectations will eventually devolve into disappointment and despair. Per scripture, faith is the substance of things hoped for; to be certain of the unseen. It is an eternal attribute, based in the trust of an omniscient power above human perception and understanding—a trust that ultimately propels your steps towards a preordained purpose that serves a higher calling beyond your preconceived notions of success and failure.

Faith outweighs expectation, as it allows for growth and learning in the face of life’s defaults. It shields against the untimely arrows of life, while protecting what is most valuable—your heart—which steers your mind and thoughts, as well as your decisions and actions. Having faith won’t prevent you from encountering or experiencing rejection, disappointment, or disaster, but it will empower you to absorb the shock of whatever trial you face. On the other hand, living life solely by expectations almost guarantees failure and the deflation of your confidence, as expectations carry expiration dates, based on your experience. If your expectations fall short of what your reality is presenting to you, you are more likely to adapt your decisions to what you see and end up derailing from your path of purpose and self-actualization altogether.

Faith is essential in managing your career as an artist, as it allows for open-mindedness, clarity of thought, creativity and patience through the trust that all things are working together for your good--even the events and circumstances that are beyond your understanding or satisfaction. Living a life with faith beyond expectations generates a buoyancy that counters temporary circumstances and seasons of defeat, while strengthening your capacity to thrive, create and endure.

Even when you don't understand or like what you see--even in the face of injustice or unwarranted trouble, continue to trust, working your faith against your expectations. Instead of fixating on preferred outcomes, allow your creativity to pilot you through the face of uncertainty and adversity. Don’t give up. Stay on target, examine your problems and explore your options--and most importantly, keep creating.

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