“He knew what was in a man.” Jn 2:25 NIV

Here are three areas in which you must learn to have realistic expectations: (1) You must have realistic expectations of yourself. When you do things poorly you usually feel bad. That sets in motion a never-ending cycle of reaching for things that are out of reach, hoping to prove something you don’t have to prove in the first place. You think you should be able to do what others do, yet if you are not similarly gifted you cannot excel in it. You don’t need to prove anything! Just obey God, and allow Him to take care of your reputation. As long as you expect to excel outside your gifting and calling, you will always end up disappointed. (2) You must have realistic expectations in your relationships with others. To make yourself responsible for someone else’s happiness, or them for yours, leads to a life of frustration. Abraham Lincoln said, “Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” If people don’t have the right outlook in life, you, and a hundred others like you, won’t make them happy. (3) You must have realistic expectations concerning life. Jesus said, “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (Jn 16:33 NKJV). As long as you’re in this world you’ll have problems. Nobody gets a free pass. But don’t worry, the Lord’s got everything under control. Just learn to be realistic. You will always have to deal with unpleasant situations, stubborn problems and difficult people. But your attitude (not theirs) is what determines whether or not you enjoy life.