Saturday, February 28, 2009

Expectation Overload

Yesterday I had a wonderful conversation about expectations and the burden they can become and it reminded me of this post I wrote earlier this month but never published it but I think it's good so check it out.

Isn't it weird how if someone expects us to do something we feel
obligated to do it. Why is that! Email is the perfect example. When
someone emails us don't we feel like we have to email them back?
Weird! How many of you spend more time emailing than you want to? My guess is that that most of you are like me and you do. Why do you do that! You just said you don't want to! You do it because we've been trained to think we have to do what people expect of
us. I mean isn't it rude to not call somebody back when they leave
you a voicemail or email them back when they email you?

This was one of the hardest things I had to get used to and I
want to challenge you to think about it as well. Are you being
controlled by other people's expectations of you? Maybe in your life it's not email but it's something else. Whatever it is just know that you don't have to let this control you. I don't return the majority of my vm's and I certainly don't email
back even a fraction of the people who email me b/c if I did I would spent 10 hours a day typing emails!

I want my life to be about loving people and glorifying God. Now some of you are thinking ahhhh
come on DJ! That's just a lame thing to say so you can avoid the fact
that you're selfish...and I admit sometimes I am just being selfish (or lazy) but
personally I don't believe my life is meant to be spent behind the
computer and so I'm not gonna spend my life there whether somebody expects me to or

...because when it comes down to it I want to be your friend - not your pen
pal...and not on facebook. In real life! What a concept! I want
to see you and hug you and experience LIFE together!

So let's get OUT of our IN box and get into reality. There's a fullness to life that
just can't be experienced behind these silly screens and so if you're
spending more time behind the computer than with people face to face
try switching things up - see how it goes!



Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more. In fact, I just changed my Facebook about me section to say that I would rather be face to face friends and invest my time in real relationships. Have a great weekend DJ!

michelle ford said...

groan... living life according to everyone else's expectations and trying to find a happy balance is the bain of my existence. it's something my mom and my culture taught me and something i've spent the last years of my life trying to unlearn.

Caroline Ghetes said...

Normally I don't respond here, but I just had to right now. This past week I was left without internet access for 5 days. FIVE DAYS!!! That's at least how I put it while it was happening, but I felt as though I was going through withdrawal and then I thought -surely this is wrong. I am busy enough as it is just editing weddings and designing albums, with my three little toddlers and (one on the way in April) and I was upset for not having internet for five days??? But then it really forced me to "disconnect" myself from Facebook, Twitter, blogging, AND of course the dreaded emails, and frankly I loved it. I was forced to spend more quality time with my kids without having my mind elsewhere and I cannot believe how much I felt like I missed out this past year. I definitely cried and fell more in love with my family. I loved them already, but this time, my heart was just -FULL. God, thank You for ripping the internet from me for just long enough for me to realize what I had been missing out on. Since having my internet back on, I really don't feel the need to stay connected to the internet world as much. So thanks for bringing this up David. Thanks for being selfish, and right for it! I will probably blog about my five days of no internet experience, but I'm going to wait until I take care of the important things first. : ) God bless you!

Sweet Whispers Photography said...

love it DJ! God is working through you for sure.. Looking forward to your next visit out East for some hugs and chats over coffee at Dunkin Donuts! ha! :) keep well..

GreenScarfProject said...

Good thoughts. I think certain personalities are driven more by expectations than others- me being one of them. Ha! There are times I let loose and say exactly what is on my mind without even caring what others think of me. =P Not so good sometimes. ;)

Thanks for posting this for all of us to read. Good reminder.

Keep Him first.

Unknown said...

david jay - you're becoming a full-time preacher, I do believe.

Jennifer Violet said...

DJ I want to be your friend too. And... make that all 5,000 of us! Though not everyone has the means or spontaneous spirit to fly out to Santa Barbara on a moment's notice to see you, hang out with you, hug you...

But "come on DJ"! Comments and replies make people feel awesome. You said so yourself, in person! I must not realize the magnitude of how many people try to get in touch with you. You have the ability - now more than ever - to make a lot of people happy, so why not sacrifice a little time in front of the computer to make more people feel loved? Your interesting choice reminds me of two really interesting books:

The Tipping Point
Grooming, Gossip, and the Evolution of Language

Here's kind of an executive summary relating to your post:

And don't feel pressure or expectation to read any of this :D It's really entertaining reading though.

I hope all friends in your 'tribe' feel blessed by your love :-)

|| davidjay || said...

I agree Jennifer...and I'm glad you came out! :)

I think you may have misunderstood my post b/c I'm not saying not to do this I'm just saying to keep it in balance and to remember that sitting down with one person is probably better than emailing 100.


jamiedelaine said...


levell said...

take it all in stride. i think if those e-mails stopped it would bother you... i think it's just us newbees wanting to learn that's filling up your inbox. . we don't ignore the product or workshop e-mails that fill our inbox.

i'm a newbee but i'm trying to figure this photography thing out on my own because i don't want the greats like you to feel this way when i do meet you, i want it to be a pleasant meeting and not you running from me because i sent you a 1000 e-mails. lol!

i get it but you put yourself out in the open as a helpful guy. you can forward your e-mails over to me because i'll be glad when i can say i get too many e-mails.

hope my word didn't sound harsh.


Kevin Fischer said...

Great post!

Deyl said...

great post friend

Ginger Murray said...

I don't have as many emails coming into my inbox each day as you, so I still feel the need to answer each one-- BUT I have realized that I don't need to answer every email the second that I receive it. I found I was getting nothing on my daily "to do" list, except for emailing.

Recently, I've started to copy what I write to the "newbie" photogs when they email me asking questions so that I don't have to write it all over again when the next one asks, since a lot of it is the same advice I give to everyone. (Ha, Right! Since I'm so far past "newbie!")

I took a day and a half away from my email this weekend-- that was wicked hard. I found that there was nothing urgent, and nothing I couldn't get to on the following day. Trying to spend more time with Aaron on the weekends and weeknights than last year when I was SO consumed by business.

Random note-- I watched an episode of the TV show "Psych" the other night, and they showed panoramic view of a coastal city. I was like, "That looks like SB, from DJ's window." Like 3 minutes further into the show, they mentioned Santa Barbara. Crazy.