"Whatever it is you're seeking won't come in the form you're expecting" - Haruki Murakami.
Murakami's quote pretty much nailed the reality here, and it's been one of the most prominent lessons that I got so far in life and my career. About managing your expectations on things, better yet, you should not put any hope on humans or institutions. Make plans to mitigate the worst situations, but don't expect that the outcomes will be excellent.
It's not in your control. In fact, I am supposed to write a long-form technical article right now, but instead, I am writing about this rambling of thoughts. I am pretty sure that the biggest reason I am in this situation is that I expect a certain level of quality on my article, one that needs a lot of research and revisions. And ironically, having that kind of expectation in the beginning only leads me to paralysis of analysis that prevents me from starting the most crucial thing on finishing the task: sit down, and work. If I don't have any expectations and just start working on the first draft, I can actually have something good at the end of a few iterations.
This also applies to practically most of the things in life. It's also in the Hadits that reminds you that the expectation of human only brings you disappointment.
Having premature high expectations on creative and new things makes you forget how important the work is, how important not just the end product is, but the actual craft, doing the work, inventing within the work.
This is why I am starting to practice focusing on the things that only matter and only in my control. After a lot of stuff going on with the pandemic and all the disruptions in our life for more than a year, I know having this kind of conversation going over and over would be tedious. But it's not, and it's not unnecessary; I am feeling better when I talk about what is going on with me. Good or Bad.
Sometimes, in the middle of the day, I am suddenly thinking about something in the past. Something that I regret not doing, something that I regret not having, and taking things on something that I wish I had done it differently. I have failed a lot, and I think all of them are also achievements. And they are. I am growing monstrously every time I fail. I feel humbled every time things go a different way than my expectations.
My focus right now is to build a routine around the works that I do and learn to enjoy the process better.
I came across a saying the other day. A guy posted on Twitter said, "In SV, VCs don't know which bet that will be a success. In LA, producers don't know which movies will be a hit." And they are highly educated professionals. The lesson is, No one knows until everyone knows-and by then, it's too late. So, just focus on creating.
Your bets will not all be a success, and it's okay. But you will always be satisfied because you love the craft most, not the end product.