Joy in the Journey Part 5: Expectations

What do you Expect?

If you want to go far in life you must have expectations for yourself. Unfortunately, we so often listen to and adopt the expectations others have of us as our own. In some cases, this can be helpful. However, this can also lead to someone falling prey to the bigotry of low expectations. In my own transplant experience, I have seen this all too often. What is worse is that these expectations are often projected on us from those we least expect. Regardless of who perpetuates these low expectations, you have a choice. You can either feed into these low expectations or set higher expectations for yourself. In these next few blog posts, I am going to share about my own experience when it comes to dealing with low expectations. More importantly, I am going to share how I chose to not let the low expectations of others predetermine my future potential.

Dealing with Low Expectations

Throughout my transplant journey, I have seen what can happen when someone chooses to feed into the bigotry of low expectations. At one point or another in our lives I think we are all faced with this dilemma. On one hand, we have expectations for ourselves. However, these expectations may be dramatically different than what others expect from us. I remember the first time I had to deal with the low expectations others placed on me. At that time I had just started highschool. At my school there was a test every first year student in highschool had to take. The idea behind this test was to determine the highest preforming students at my school. After taking the test, I knew that I didn’t do as well as I hoped. However, when I took the test to a school administrator that was tasked with helping each student understand the test score implications, I was shocked at what the administrator said. In short I was told by the administrator that the scores I got indicated that I may need to reconsider college. As I was going home from school that afternoon I kept wondering if what the school administrator said to me was true. If it was, then I had some serious thinking to do about my future. In my view, the test scores and the words of my school administrator were an indictment of what I could not do. In reality, all of this was a massive lie. With the help of my family and some great tutors at my school, I came to realize that only I could determine my future potential. In order to do this, I had to dare to be different.

Dare to be Different

No matter where you are in your transplant journey, we all will deal with low expectations others place on us. These expectations may come from a diagnosis, a teacher or from your own family. No matter where these low expectations come from, I challenge you to not let the words of others alter how you view yourself. Instead I challenge you to surround yourself with those who have your best interest at heart and are willing to help you realize your full potential. Even if you are facing many challenges, remember that what you are facing today does not define you. You are more than a number. You are more than your diagnosis. You were made to be more than a carbon copy of mediocrity. You have the power in you to overcome your current circumstances and make a difference in this world if only you will dare to be different.

Published by Wills Porter

Having been a transplant recipient of over 20 years, Wills is a living example of the life-transforming power of organ donation and transplant. While life after transplant has not always been easy, Wills believes that the challenges he has faced since his transplant have made him stronger and helped him take joy in his own transplant journey. As a KT author, podcast host and the director of research and development for Kidney Trails, Wills is focused on advancing the conversation around organ donation through innovative and extra organary ways.

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