In Accounting they taught you to always “under-promise and over-deliver”, and I found that this has to be one of the best lessons I could draw from my lectures. If you had over-promised, an audit would reveal your actual performance for the financial year and this may be considered an ethical issue because the shareholders would be harmed. Under-performing would disappoint the shareholders as they had been guaranteed to expect higher returns. Why, you ask, do I find this lesson useful? Well, I suppose it is because this may be applied to our lives as well.
Under-promise and over-deliver. That statement speaks for itself. If what you promised was way beyond what you actually delivered in the end, people will end up disappointed as you crush their hopes and expectations of you. However, if you delivered above what you had promised, then the level of satisfaction would increase as people had lower expectations. This is basically common sense. And if you have been reading this until so far, you probably would also feel a little bit disappointed that you’re getting nothing out of this.
So let’s take all this into another perspective. Let’s step into someone else’s shoes. Have you ever had people looking at you as if they expect so much from you, and then even after trying so hard, you failed to meet that expectation, and then that gaze just changes…it transforms into a look of disgust, of criticism, of distrust, of being belittled, of being looked down upon. Now that, is the look of disappointment. It’s like being towered over by a giant who holds up one finger, saying “Shame on you”. Or travelling to your ancestral country not knowing the language. Or going back to childhood and have your parent smack you or something. Well not necessarily like those illustrations, but you know what I mean.
I know that being disappointed by someone simply feels…disappointing, but trust me, the feeling of being a disappointment is worse. So don’t always demand for more. Don’t criticise, don’t judge. Don’t over-expect. And you won’t be disappointed. Better yet, you would help get people out of the misery of feeling sorry for themselves.