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Realistic Expectations Quotes and Quotations


Expect nothing and life will be velvet.
What is destructive is impatience, haste, expecting too much too fast.
No one has ever loved anyone the way everyone wants to be loved.
If you expect perfection from other people, your whole life is a series of disappointments, grumbling and complaints. If, on the contrary, you pitch your expectations low, taking folks as the inefficient creatures which they are, you are frequently surprised by having them perform better than you had hoped.
A pint can't hold a quart-if it holds a pint it is doing all that can be expected of it.
Truth has rough flavors if we bite it through.
What had seemed easy in imagination was rather hard in reality.
You can't move so fast that you try to change [a situation] faster than people can accept it. That doesn't mean you do nothing, but it means that you do the things that need to be done according to priority.
He that will have a perfect brother must resign himself to remaining brotherless.
Who ever is adequate? We all create situations which others can't live up to, then break our hearts at them because they don't.
It is a rough road that leads to the heights of greatness.
Friendships aren't perfect, and yet they are very precious. For me, not expecting perfection all in one place was a great release.
The way to achieve happiness is to have a high standard for yourself and a medium one for everyone else.
Life is not a spectacle or a feast; it is a predicament.
To expect too much is to have a sentimental view of life, and this is a softness that ends in bitterness.
Because you're not what I would have you be, I blind myself to who, in truth, you are.
No one from the beginning of time has had security.
No one is happy all his life long.
Vex not thy spirit at the course of things; they heed not thy vexation. How ludicrous and outlandish is astonishment at anything that may happen in life.
There are philosophies which are unendurable not because men are cowards, but because they are men.
When I decided to go into politics I weighed the cost: I would get criticism. But I went ahead. So when the virulent criticism came I wasn't surprised. I was better able to handle it.
If you want a place in the sun, you've got to put up with a few blisters.
Never let life's hardships disturb you ... no one can avoid problems, not even saints or sages.
Life is made up of sobs, sniffles, and smiles, with sniffles predominating.
The scornful nostril and the high head gather not the odors that lie on the track of truth.
Expecting the world to treat you fairly because you are a good person is a little like expecting the bull not to attack you because you're a vegetarian.
When nobody around you seems to measure up, it's time to check your yardstick.
Life to the great majority is only a constant struggle for mere existence, with the certainty of losing it at last.
Marriage is not just spiritual communion and passionate embraces; marriage is also three meals a day, sharing the workload and remembering to carry out the trash.
We [Americans] cheerfully assume that in some mystic way love conquers all, that good outweighs evil in the just balances of the universe and that at the eleventh hour something gloriously triumphant will prevent the worst before it happens.
There is no such thing as something for nothing.
The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.
Free man is by necessity insecure; thinking man is by necessity uncertain.
It is arrogance to expect that life will always be music.... Harmony, like a following breeze at sea, is the exception. In a world where most things wind up broken or lost, our lot is to tack and tune.
Being unready and ill-equipped is what you have to expect in life. It is the universal predicament. It is your lot as a human being to lack what it takes. Circumstances are seldom right. You never have the capacities, the strength, the wisdom, the virtue you ought to have. You must always do with less than you need in a situation vastly different from what you would have chosen as appropriate for your special endowments.
In nature there are neither rewards or punishments-there are consequences.
Hope for a miracle. But don't depend on one.
Life guarantees a chance-not a fair shake.
Life is a perilous voyage.
One must not hope to be more than one can be.
The whole point of getting things done is knowing what to leave undone.
We expect more of ourselves than we have any right to.
Don't fool yourself that you are going to have it all. You are not. Psychologically, having it all is not even a valid concept. The marvelous thing about human beings is that we are perpetually reaching for the stars. The more we have, the more we want. And for this reason, we never have it all.
Try as hard as we may for perfection, the net result of our labors is an amazing variety of imperfectness. We are surprised at our own versatility in being able to fail in so many different ways.
We set up harsh and unkind rules against ourselves. No one is born without faults. That man is best who has fewest.
I can't write a book commensurate with Shakespeare, but I can write a book by me.
I have done what I could do in life, and if I could not do better, I did not deserve it. In vain I have tried to step beyond what bound me.
Shall a man go and hang himself because he belongs to the race of pygmies, and not be the biggest pygmy that he can?
The man with insight enough to admit his limitations comes nearest to perfection.
The one important thing I have learned over the years is the difference between taking one's work seriously and taking one's self seriously. The first is imperative, and the second is disastrous.
Growth begins when we start to accept our own weakness.
To dream of the person you would like to be is to waste the person you are.
Of all the young men in America, only a few hundred can get into major league baseball, and of these only a handful in a decade can get into the Hall of Fame. So it goes in all human activity. ... Some become multimillionaires and chairmen of the board, and some of us must be content to play baseball at company picnics or manage a credit union without pay.
At thirty a man should know himself like the palm of his hand, know the exact number of his defects and qualities. ... And, above all, accept these things.
No man can climb out beyond the limitations of his own character.
You can't make the Duchess of Windsor into Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. The facts of life are very stubborn things.
Sometimes it is more important to discover what one cannot do, than what one can do.
Learn to ... be what you are, and learn to resign with a good grace all that you are not.
We cannot all be masters.
To do all that one is able to do is to be a man; to do all that one would like to do is to be a god.
No one is expected to achieve the impossible.
A hero is a man who does what he can.
It is only fools who keep straining at high C all their lives.
May God ... let me strive for attainable things.
Despair is the price one pays for setting himself an impossible aim.
We would have to settle for the elegant goal of becoming ourselves.
A great obstacle to happiness is to expect too much happiness.
There is a proper balance between not asking enough of oneself and asking or expecting too much.
I hope to work, support my children and die quietly without pain.
As we advance in life, we learn the limits of our abilities.
Striving for excellence motivates you; striving for perfection is demoralizing.
It is enough that I am of value to somebody today.
A tomb now suffices him for whom the whole world was not sufficient.
To wish to act like angels while we are still in this world is nothing but folly.
It isn't important to come out on top; what matters is to be the one who comes out alive.
I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.
I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something I can do.
Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections.
Happy the man who early learns the wide chasm that lies between his wishes and his powers.
[Being a parent] is tough. If you just want a wonderful little creature to love, you can get a puppy.
You never conquer a mountain. You stand on the summit a few moments; then the wind blows your footprints away.
If we are to survive on this planet, there must be compromises.
Real life is, to most men ... a perpetual compromise between the ideal and the possible.
He who cannot do what he wants must make do with what he can.
What has always made a hell on earth has been that man has tried to make it his heaven.
Good is not good, where better is expected.
Nobody has things just as he would like them. The thing to do is to make a success with what material I have. It is a sheer waste of time and soul-power to imagine what I would do if things were different. They are not different.
People are lucky and unlucky ... according to the ratio between what they get and what they have been led to expect.
We must like what we have when we don't have what we like.
Better is the enemy of the good.
If you aspire to the highest place, it is no disgrace to stop at the second, or even the third, place.
Genius does what it must, talent does what it can.
A hero is a man who does what he can.
Nature is what you may do. There is much you may not do.
Results are what you expect; consequences are what you get.
The resistance to the unpleasant situation is the root of suffering.
To expect life to be tailored to our specifications is to invite frustration.
Each of us does, in effect, strike a series of "deals," or compromises, between the wants and longings of the inner self, and an outer environment that offers certain possibilities and sets certain limitations.
Man is the only animal that laughs and weeps, for he is the only animal that is struck with the difference between what things are, and what they might have been.
We do not write as we want, but as we can.
Every creator painfully experiences the chasm between his inner vision and its ultimate expression. The chasm is never completely bridged. We all have the conviction, perhaps illusory, that we have much more to say than appears on the paper.
A body shouldn't heed what might be. He's got to do with what is.
The chief pang of most trials is not so much the actual suffering itself as our own spirit of resistance to it.
The greatest and most important problems in life are all in a certain sense insoluble. They can never be solved, but only outgrown.
The art of living lies less in eliminating our troubles than in growing with them.
Life has not taught me to expect nothing, but she has taught me not to expect success to be the inevitable result of my endeavors.
Knowledge of what is possible is the beginning of happiness.
Don't spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door.
If I were to wish for anything, I should not wish for wealth and power, but for the passionate sense of the potential, for the eye which, ever young and ardent, sees the possible ... what wine is so sparkling, so fragrant, so intoxicating, as possibility!
Wisdom never kicks at the iron walls it can't bring down.
It is impossible to control creation.
To seek fulfillment is to invite frustration.
Half the unhappiness in the world is due to the failure of plans which were never reasonable, and often impossible.
There is an illusion that has much to do with ... most of our unhappiness. ... We expect too much.
A fool or idiot is one who expects things to happen that never can happen.
Shall a man go and hang himself because he belongs to the race of pygmies, and not be the biggest pygmy that he can?
Life is a compromise of what your ego wants to do, what experience tells you to do, and what your nerves let you do.
No, Doctor, I don't want to grow young again. I just want to keep on growing old.
What we call reality is an agreement that people have arrived at to make life more livable.
There is no such thing as pure pleasure; some anxiety always goes with it.
When somebody tells you nothing is impossible, ask him to dribble a football.
No country can act wisely simultaneously in every part of the globe at every moment of time.
The most important thing in marriage is not happiness, but stability.
So often we search out the impossible, and then throw ourselves into trying to do it.
Nothing is so good as it seems beforehand.
Prospect is often better than possession.
The hours we pass with happy prospects in view are more pleasing than those crowned with fruition.
'Tis expectation makes a blessing dear; heaven were not heaven if we knew what it were.
Life is so constructed that the event does not, cannot, will not, match the expectation.
There is no greater enemy to those who would please than expectation.
To dream too much of the person you would like to be is to waste the person you are.
Too many people miss the silver lining because they're expecting gold.
For people who live on expectations, to face up to their realization is something of an ordeal.
My expectations-which I extended whenever I came close to accomplishing my goals-made it impossible ever to feel satisfied with my success.
Every attempt to make war easy and safe will result in humiliation and disaster.
I sincerely wish war was a pleasanter and easier business than it is, but it does not admit of holidays.
There is many a boy here today who looks on war as all glory, but boys, it is all hell.
War is not an adventure. It is a disease. It is like typhus.
In combat, life is short, nasty and brutish. The issues of national policy which brought him into war are irrelevant to the combat soldier; he is concerned with his literal life chances.
In war, more than anywhere else in the world, things happen differently from what we had expected, and look differently when near from what they did at a distance.
In spite of all of the training you get and the precautions you take to keep yourself alive, it's largely a matter of luck that decides whether or not you get killed.
Moderation in war is imbecility.
When one's expectations are reduced to zero, one really appreciates everything one does have.
I like trees because they seem more resigned to the way they have to live than other things do.
Life didn't promise to be wonderful.
We never enjoy perfect happiness; our most fortunate successes are mingled with sadness; some anxieties always perplex the reality of our satisfaction.
Do not commit the error, common among the young, of assuming that if you cannot save the whole of mankind you have failed.
The art of living lies less in eliminating our troubles than in growing with them.
If one considered life as a simple loan, one would perhaps be less exacting.
Why are we surprised when fig trees bear figs?
Those who aim at great deeds must also suffer greatly.
I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat.
There's no map, there's no master plan, there's just people.
Every writer I know has trouble writing.
Men expect too much, do too little.


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My words fly up, my thoughts remain below; Words without thoughts never to heaven go.
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