What Do You Expect From Life (It’s Probably Not Joy)?

What do you expect from life?

An interesting twist on the famous Law of Attraction is the insight that you don’t “get what you think” or even what you feel – although the latter is closer to the truth – you get what you expect. It sounds like a minor distinction at first, but once you truly understand what it means, you’ll realise that this changes everything.

I’d like to take a closer look at what it means to “get what you expect”, how you can utilise it for yourself, and the role that trauma plays in this. In short, I’ll encourage you to do some introspection, assess your own expectations, and help you adjust them to increase your levels of happiness – and, of course, the time and energy you spend on your passion(s).

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Not the Law of Attraction again!


Most of us have watched The Secret or read a book or at the very least, an article. Most have at least a vague idea what the Law of Attraction is about: that what you think, believe, feel, is what you’re likely to attract into your life. Basically, whatever you’re a vibrational match for, will manifest itself.

Don’t expect me to talk you into believing it, please. The thing with the Law of Attraction is that it works both ways: If you’re convinced it doesn’t work, guess what – it won’t! All I can say is that I know people from all walks of life, some privileged, some definitely not, who use the LoA to great success and have consciously manifested things that can only be called miracles.

We know thoughts have vibrations – actual, measurable vibrations. So do emotions. We also know that nothing exists in isolation and everything is connected. Studies have proven, over and over, that a patient’s attitude plays a significant role in their chances of recovery. It’s not all that far-fetched to think that at least part of our reality results from, well, us.

Think, feel, expect


A skeptic will be quick to point out that thinking of a pink flamingo won’t make one appear (more’s the pity – they’re beautiful!). However, as I mentioned before, thoughts are only the beginning of the process, because repeatedly thinking something influences our feelings, and they’re what manifests, according to The Secret.

But you see, it’s also where so many people struggle. I’ve manifested quite a lot of what I set out to. At other times, I seemed to do all the work – visualised, cleansed, took action, kept my mood positive, trusted in the outcome – and nothing happened. Zero. Zilch. I’ve heard from others who had similar experiences. Were we all doing something wrong?

Here’s where newer research comes in, things you can read in publications from the last decade or so. They point out that thinking and feeling are great, but as long as we expect, deep down, something different, we’ll not manifest the thing we’re thinking about. Say, if you do all the classic manifestation work around attracting your ideal partner, but deep down inside you don’t believe you can find love, or that you’re not worthy of it, it’s not going to happen.

Two lovers at sunset. Is love what you expect from life?

Why trauma is so very damaging


Unfortunately, the above is another reason why trauma is so very damaging. As though it wasn’t enough that traumatic experiences linger on in the body and get triggered at every inconvenient moment, they can also severely mess with our ability to manifest what we truly want.

Once you’ve experienced abuse, either physically or mentally, or the loss of security or any other emotional trauma, it can be next to impossible to truly expect good things in your life. This is why so many of us self-sabotage and also trip up our attempts at manifestation.

It doesn’t mean you’re beyond help, though. Trauma can be healed, the nervous system can be restored. More importantly, you don’t have to be perfect and completely free of trauma, either. Only just doing the work can give you back enough of your ability to believe that it’s possible and expect your dreams to become reality.

What you can do


What does this mean for you and your life, then? Here are a few steps you can take to start manifesting with more ease and achieving what you’d love to have in your life.

  • First of all, examine how you feel most of the time. What’s your overall mood? Watch yourself for a day or two. How much time to you spend feeling genuinely happy? Grumpy? Sad? How many times do you complain?
  • In order to improve your happiness, look at your dreams and goals. Check if you truly believe you’ll achieve them. If you don’t, find a partial goal along the way to your dream that seems more doable for yourself. Focus on that and take the first step towards it immediately.
  • Figure out your passion(s) and go on to radically prioritise them. Nothing else will bring you happiness the way putting your joy first does. It’ll also lead you to your purpose, which is another thing the happiest people are sure about.
  • Next time you use the Law of Attraction, focus less on the visualisation and good-mood parts. Instead, work on clearing the blocks set by your expectations. Work on healing your trauma, and don’t wait until you think you’re perfect; get started and manifest. Practice makes perfect.


Expect from life the things you want


Once you learn to make joy the thing you expect from life, joy is what you’ll create. We’re in the habit of expecting not much of anything, and that’s why we experience so much “meh” in our daily lives – our evolutionary negativity bias makes sure of it.

Try and turn this around and expect joy. Expect abundance. Expect to always have enough time and energy to pursue your passion. The joy will bring you up against obstacles and old beliefs. However, it’ll also point you towards ways of overcoming them. Over time, this will increase your capacity for happiness and make a noticeable difference in your life.