Low On Expectations ~ High On Hopes

I am the first person to admit that I’ve got some pretty high expectations when it comes to certain areas of my life. For anyone who knows me, you know….the longer the run – the better! The bigger the idea – the more I am interested! The more challenging a project or task – the more excited I become about it! Oh, and if we’re talking about sport races – let’s put ALL of this together! The longer, the bigger and more challenging the race – the faster I will squeal a very exuberant “yyyyyeeessssss”!

And this is all great. When talking about inanimate objects. Things. Ideas. Adventures. Goals. And dreams.

But I am learning that the opposite is true when it comes to people (including myself).

When it comes to people, I’m noticing that if I expect less and hope more, life becomes easier and I become happier. Doing so also makes me feel more at peace inside myself, less stressed, more joyful (and joy-filled) on a moment-to-moment basis and ultimately, everything just feels easier. Easier and possible. It’s true – Everything becomes possible when I lower my expectations and raise my hopes.

It feels like putting sun glasses on that makes everything you are looking at brighter! And when things are brighter, awe and wonder seep in to every day. And the little things become big things.

And that feels good! Very, very good.

I find myself appreciating the little moments a lot more. Like watching a sunrise or a sunset. Or when I noticed the full moon setting as the sun begins to rise just the other day. How cool is that? You gotta get up early though!

Small gestures of kindness mean so much more than the $5 they cost, like these goodies left in my hotel room along with a lovely note from the front desk today.

If we can turn down the dial on expectations and turn it up (way up) on hope, conversations will go better. All of our relationships will thrive. Work will be easier. Stress will be lowered. Health will improve. And so much more.

All this, compared to the trainwreck that happens in my life when my expectations are too high or too specific or when things simply don’t happen as I expect them to.

Where the heck is that dial?

It’s not that I don’t have expectations. I still do. But I am just trying to make those expectations more realistic. More achievable. And when it comes to other people, lowering my expectations and raising my hopes makes everything better. I don’t even know how to explain it. Just trust me on this one. And try it for yourself.

What would happen if we lowered our expectations a little? Just a little? Or maybe a lot?
I’m certain that a sense of awe and wonder would seep in to our every day…and every moment of our every day.

I learned a new word that talks about this concept: “Shoshin”.  It means, “The practise of seeing life with awe, wonder, curiosity and humility.”

If you appreciate this concept as much as I do and would like a little reminder of it to put on a keychain or necklace, check out the inspirational rings I’ve created:


How would it feel if we were able to bring a little more shoshin to our life? I think we would automatically reduce expectations, increase hope and probably feel a whole lot better! Let’s try it – together!


Crystal Flaman is an international keynote speaker and social entrepreneur, inspiring you to discover your dreams and the difference you can create in the world. Anything is possible. Everything is possible. Believe in your dreams. Do what you love and be fearlessly you.

Rave Reviews

“All I can say is WOW! Crystal Flaman you were on fire at the recent Vernon Women in Business Leadership Conference. Your ability to tie the conference theme into your inspirational messaging. You had the entire room captivated with the interactive activities you brought to help solidify your messages. As the MC, it is my job to mind the room and the time slot. Your expert storytelling had us all captivated from beginning to end. Thank you! I would highly recommend you for any event where the group is looking to elevate their team and individual performances.”
Faith Wood, Inspiring Minds Consulting Ltd, Owner
“Crystal was invited to kick-off and set the tone for our Professional Development conference. She delivered an interesting and engaging presentation, and inspired us through her passion and leadership, focusing on creating significance in our successes. Feedback after the session was incredibly positive, appreciating the relevance to both work and home life. Crystal even left us with parting gifts – a crystal prism and rings with encouraging words on them…and I still have them hanging at my desk as a reminder of what she taught us.  I would highly recommend Crystal to speak at your next engagement if you’re looking for a moving, honest and successful woman to ignite passion and inspiration for your team.”
Caren Leinwant, Green Shield Canada, Individual Business Services Manager
“I have known and worked with Crystal for the past 20 years.  She is an amazing person!  Crystal is a great speaker – engaging, humourous, and has the ability to appeal to many different audiences – young and old.   She is always prepared and willing to be flexible depending on the needs of her clients.  She has worked with many start up businesses over the years to provide information and guidance.   I would not hesitate to hire or refer Crystal for any speaking, mentoring or coaching opportunities for businesses in my community.  I know you won’t be disappointed.”
Wendy McCulloch, Community Futures Boundary, General Manager
“Crystal is creative, innovative, passionate, and inspirational. She planned special, memorable, and meaningful activities for our students that helped them to recognize their talents, boost their self-esteem, and prepare them for their transition to middle school. Both staff and students were so impressed by Crystal. The students were excited about the gifts they received and these special tokens will forever remind them of the lessons learned during their time with Crystal.  It truly was an honour to work with Crystal and experience all that she has to teach and offer. Our students are better, more confident people because of the time spent with Crystal.”
Mrs Lara Davies, Teacher, North Glenmore Elementary School
“Her physical and mental strength is only matched by the kindness of her heart. Crystal Flaman is a talented entrepreneur and athlete who has combined her passion for humanity with sport. Every opportunity is used to promote the well-being of her fellow man whether it be at home or abroad. A gifted speaker who can inspire you to tears, or better yet action, uses her magnetic energy to promote positive change. Crystal is hard working, committed and her tenacity is evident in many of her successful projects. Working with Crystal will be one of the best decisions you have ever made. “
Laura Thurnheer, Associate Dean, Okanagan College
“The Diva retreat was the most amazing week of my year. I am new to yoga, so was worried I wouldn’t be able to keep up but Amelie was an amazing instructor and paced the class to include all abilities. It was a beautiful way to start the day! Crystal guided the workshops in her bright and positive way. Each day we meet for a workshop in a safe and supportive environment, with great materials to take away. She created a warm and welcoming place to talk and share experiences. The group of ladies – new to me – became friends I am still in contact with.  We each were able to laugh, share and feel validated.

The location was gorgeous and we had ample free time to explore the village, head to the beach or hang out at the resort. I loved the balance of yoga, workshops and free time.

I would highly recommend the retreat to give yourself time to pause, reflect and refocus.”
Dianne Bondaroff, DIVA Retreat 2018 participant, Artist, Entrepreneur, Change Maker
“I have known Crystal for over 15 years as a colleague and good friend. She is a key component of the instruction team for the Leisure Development Course, a unique three-year professional development program for parks, recreation and community development personnel. Crystal’s presentations are always inspirational, sensitive, insightful and tailored to the needs of the respective students. She is one of the most passionate and enthusiastic individuals I have had the pleasure of working with and would not hesitate in recommending Crystal for whatever endeavor she wishes to undertake.”
Chris Nelson, Coordinator, Leisure Development Course
“I am not sure how to compact my gratitude for what DIVA Retreats really has done for me. My first DIVA Retreat was in 2014. I was seeking exactly what it stands for: Discover my Inner Voice and Adventure through body,  mind, and spirit. I was so blessed to have spent the week with such amazing women and it was the start of a great personal journey since then. My second experience in 2018 was equally amazing and an opportunity to hold the space for someone else’s transformation experience.  At the same time, in the end I was newly inspired again!  I wanted to give back and, instead, got so much more in return. I recommend this retreat for anyone. You are safe and instantly welcomed if you come alone or bring your BFF's. I loved it all! Yoga, laughing, learning, hiking, biking, creating, trying healthy foods, humanitarian contribution.... and most of all making connections with amazing women from all over Canada.  I don’t think there is another retreat like this anywhere that is this affordable.
Louise Sarauer, Administrative Professional, Saskatoon, SK
“I have known Crystal for over 10 years and in that time I have had the pleasure of being a participant in her workshops and presentations as well as being a fellow presenter. Her unwavering enthusiasm for her topics and her sincere, heartfelt messages for her participants, makes her presentations exciting and meaningful to her audiences. She uses her own life challenges and successes as the back-drop for her messages allowing her to use humour to engage and connect with those in the room. Often using a variety of props and techniques, participants are continuously engaged in her presentations. As a result, Crystal is an effective speaker, focused on sharing her passion and beliefs to motivate participants to take action in their own lives, towards their goals and aspirations.”
Deb Comfort, Facilities Supervisor, Dept. of Recreation, Parks and Culture, Red Deer, AB

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