Welcome to Expectations

One of my favorite books is the children’s classic,“The Phantom Tollbooth.” It remains a wonderful allegory for all the things that trip us up from achieving our dreams.

In one of the chapters the protagonist, Milo, neglecting to pay attention, finds himself in the land of Expectations. A sign at the side of the road offers help in the form of information, predictions and advice. Stopping, Milo is confronted with the delightful but very odd Whether Man. When he asks Milo to predict the weather, Milo becomes even more confused. How could a Weather Man not know the Weather? The little man explains. “I’m the Whether Man not the Weather Man, for after all it’s more important to know whether there will be weather than what the weather will be.”

As the Whether Man goes on to explain, we all stop in Expectations on our way to getting where we are going. Some people don’t want to leave. The Whether Man’s job is to hurry them along.

Are you stuck in Expectations? How might you nudge yourself to move beyond?

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