Friday, November 18, 2011

Managing Expectations

How happy are you at work?  On a scale of 1-100, how would you rate your marriage, your friendships, your relationship with your children, your career satisfaction?

Imagine for a minute that you are happy in your marriage 90% of the time. Is that good? 90% sounds pretty good to me. How about at work, happy 80% of the time? Is that good?

Another way to think through the scores is to translate the numbers into days. For example, if you have a great marriage and are happy 90% of the time, mathematically there are 36.5 days a year that you are not happy.  36.5 days, or more than entire month.

Similarly, if at work you are fulfilled 80% of the time, there are 74 days a year where you are not fulfilled.

What's the point?  The key idea, hat tip to Marv Wenger for sharing this perspective, is that a happy and fulfilled life is full of days that simply aren't that good.

Furthermore, rather than being surprised by a tough day, it is important to be sufficiently self-aware to not only expect tough days, but to recognize that having a tough day does not fundamentally challenge the quality of your relationships or work.

As an entrepreneur, there are plenty of challenging days. It pays to realize that is both normal and that a bad day, or 36.5 tough days, still means that 90% of the time things are really good.

1 comment:

  1. Marvin Wenger? I know think I know that guy! He's very wise. I met him high upon a mountain in Tibet once. I was looking for answers and he was advising the Dali Lama.