Expect that things won’t work out. But do your best work anyway.
All major breaks, all success that I had this year — I’d like to attribute to this approach. To having low expectations. So low, they are often negative, in fact. Best things happened when I expected things to backfire, to get embarrassed, to just waste time and effort.
If you have an imposter syndrome; anxious about your achievements and your future; you are ambitious, you hold yourself and others to high standards, got big goals… but still feel like you are not hitting them? In your 20s and still have not built a billion dollar startup? (like those kids in TechCrunch articles) — I advise you to take the above-mentioned approach then.
Let’s consider examples of how this works. I’ll share 3 unexpected successes from my life in this year (2018), that started off from really low, nearly negative expectations:
Reality: Crypto Jobs List is the #1 dedicated crypto and blockchain job board in the world.
Expectations: A year ago I started it to find a job but was convinced that no one will care about it. So I decided not to spend more than two days developing the first version.
Reality: 1st place winner in EOS Global Hackathon in Hong Kong.
Expectations: I was going there with super low expectations, thinking that “in the worst case, I’ll just eat free lunch, build nothing and embarrass myself”.
Reality: got a U.S. visa processed in under 5 hours. Normal process takes 24+ hours.
Expectations: [tl;dr] Applied for a US visa, got my docs returned and was told “we’ll contact you”. After a month of radio-silence from the embassy, I thought they just rejected me and I moved on. Booked a one way flight back to Asia. Packed. A day before the flight I was notified that the visa is approved and that I need to leave my passport over the weekend for it to get processed. It was clear that they would not process the passport and return it to me on the same day of the my flight. I gave up on the visa. But showed up to the embassy anyway, expecting that they will just tell me off or, even worse, will take my passport and not return it on time before the flight. 3 hours before my flight, I got my passport back with the visa printed in. Miracle! ✨
For this post too. I’m trying to have super low expectations. No one will read it. No one will care. I’m embarrassing myself. But I wrote and shared it anyway.
I hope it helps you adjust your expectations of yourself. Decouple your actions from the fruits of your actions. Do your best, and do what’s right despite what the outcome may be.
Originally published at ksaitor.com on December 22, 2018.