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Great Expectations: Life is NOT the Hallmark Channel

by Growth-U

Change Your Mindset to Improve Your Relationships

Pssst. I’ve got a secret!

My guilty pleasure is watching Hallmark movies.

Sweet love stories, with everything so picture-perfect and romantic. I suspect that there are many who would secretly agree.

Come on. Isn’t it just natural to envision our lives as a storybook, complete with a happy ending?

When I was growing up, life was much simpler than today. It was a time of innocence; the family was at the heart of everything.

Families sat to eat meals together. They shared their days. No cell phones.

Today, families are so busy they are often like ships passing in the night.

My Hallmark Life

Back then, I dreamed about my future. My Prince Charming and our marriage.

A house, 2 1/2 kids, and the family pet.


I would marry the perfect man with a successful career. I would stay home and raise our perfect children.

We would have perfect relationships.

I never thought of it as foolishness. It was very real and attainable to me. I believed it all, never entertaining the thought of anything different.

Then, I grew up.

My Real Life

A very different reality replaced my fantasy. It wasn’t bad. Just different.

Real — with some grit sprinkled in for excitement.

My husband’s career included 7 layoffs in 5 years. It never failed to happen right around the holidays to add spice.

Our children were typical teens with drama, and our relationships all had their share of bumps and bruises.

How about you?

  • Would you ever expect to hold your newborn for the first time while sitting on the toilet, surrounded by strangers?
  • Has your second-grader cut a huge chunk out of the back of her waist-length hair just so she could see what color it was?
  • Would you ever envision your prince as an alcoholic?
  • Or that your teen could be suicidal?
“I didn’t sign up for this!”, I wanted to scream.

I felt like a failure. Like the lack of perfection was somehow my fault.

And yet, it’s easy to be filled with unrealistic expectations because…

Life is Not the Hallmark channel!

When you think of it, one really needs to do life with a sense of humor.

Here is the thing. Life happens. All the good, bad and ugly.

You may not have a choice as to what curveballs life throws at you.

However, you do have the choice of how you manage those curveballs.

Dr. Irene Cop states in 10 Powerful Principles That Can Save Your Relationship that you always have choice and control in any situation. It may not the choice you want and yet it is always there.

Try these choices on for size:

  • you can fight the situation… and all of your family members
  • you can leave the situation… and your alcoholic husband
  • you can make no changes, wallowing in your “woe is me” attitude … which is still a choice
  • you can change your attitude, how you respond to the situation… and feel much happier

I have done it all. Believe me, the better choice is to dive in.

It took a lot of soul-searching and changing my habits.

One of the greatest gifts I have ever given myself was to accept my “humanness” and to forgive myself when I fell short.

Getting to this self-loving place took work.

I decided I was worth it. I deserved to live my best life, and so do you!

We are all human and the last I checked, none of us are perfect.

Believe me, if any of this feels familiar, there are simple ways to improve all of your relationships and life.

Rod Hairston teaches you how to own your super abilities to make changes to your mindset and life.

Own Your Super-abilities.

  • Responsibility: While you are not responsible for everything that has ever happened to you, you do have the “response-ability” to choose how you respond during and afterward.
    Start your day with gratitude. Look around you. Focus on the things you want, not on what is wrong. Your life is your canvas.
  • Accountability: Only you are accountable for your reactions. Own your actions, show up and do your best.
    Follow your beliefs; you will know what’s right.
  • Capability: You have everything within you, right now, that you need to succeed.
    Love yourself enough, owning your decisions on what serves you best.
  • Completely liberating!

  • Flexibility: Go with the flow rather than fighting your way upstream.
    The best journeys are not always the straightest line between two points. Be ready to take the scenic route.
  • Vulnerability: Accept that you are human. Keep your sense of humor. Follow your heart.
    You haven’t realized this yet, and there are people who need to hear what you have to say.
    Sharing your story, being vulnerable, makes you an influencer.
    You can only do your best.
“Always do your best.
Your best is going to change
from moment to moment;
it will be different when you are
healthy as opposed to sick.
Under any circumstance,
simply do your best,
and you will avoid self-judgment,
self-abuse and regret.”

Don Miguel Ruiz

Most of you will read this and not follow through. But, if you are ready to make a change, you can start by being open to the possibilities.

If you feel too overwhelmed to use these new super-abilities by yourself, just take the first step. Join Growth-U’s supportive community.

You won’t believe how high you can soar!