No one LET’S YOU DOWN when you have ZERO expectations


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This statement is so true when it comes to trying something new. In some ways it can be a good thing and in others it can be bad.

Looking at the positive side of this, we can say if we have zero expectations then we can spend the future being pleasantly surprised on a daily basis. This is rather nice actually. Spending your future being constantly amazed and as a result motivated to know and learn more. That’s of course if what you decided to do turned out positive.

So there is a place for this kind of thinking. However, at the same time we can’t spend our life living under this philosophy, as we will never reach the kinds of hearts we deserve. We should in face expect something – be is small or nominal in return. In terms of learning a language at a school, these may be simple things like:

  • Getting a teacher to teach you
  • The teacher turning up on time
  • Having a textbook

If you don’t expect any of these things and they happen…..I’d say your expectations are way too low. In fact your expectations should be more like this:

  • Getting a teacher to teach you who is experienced and/or qualified to teach you well
  • The teacher turning up on time well prepared with interesting innovative activities that will genuinely help you and your class
  • Using a relevant textbook together with many other resources that keep you engaged and motivated.

I think this is what most would say are their expectations when they register at a language school, however it also really depends on how much you pay too.

If you are paying high prices, your expectations should be high – at least the ones above if not more.   If you are paying mid-range your expectation should be a watered down version perhaps of the ones above. If you are paying a very low price, almost a free course, you can’t expect much more than the basics and finally if you are not paying anything for the course, keep your expectations at zero and you may be pleasantly surprised – maybe the government are paying for you.

So clearly this expectation does come from the financial input you have made. Whenever you enter into a learning process with a teacher, you have entered into some kind of contract. A contract involves two people and involves a simple process of saying – I’ve put some money on the table for you but you have to do something in return….period. If no money is on the table, it is difficult for anyone to understand expectations.

But we do use social contracts as well, simple human ones with friends and family. We respect them and they respect us. For many families this may be always in a state of flux and being constantly renegotiated, and that’s fine too. However, if you are entering say a marriage even when you are at your ceremony, there will be some kind of contract declared before the outset, so everyone is clear about what the expectations are, e.g. respect and commitment, etc.

So even though we think we enter many situations with zero expectations, have a think again on what you really expect from this ‘arrangement’, and you might find yourself expecting a lot more than you think.


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