In my meditation practice, learning to let go of your expectations is one of the key objectives in attaining joy and equanimity. Most of us have expectations of ourselves and of others -- a strong belief that something will happen. Synonyms of expectation are presumption, assumption, calculation and prediction. One might say that expectation is like a sense of one's entitlement, that you feel you should attain because you are worthy.
On the other hand, aspiration, a term sometime used in place of expectation is quite different. To aspire means to dream about, to crave, to wish, to yearn. Aspiration also evokes different emotions than expectation. In my personal practice, I am trying to let go of my aspirations and also my expectations. I find the former challenging and I need to get back to the mindful meditation to clear my thoughts and accept the sufferings and struggling which accompany letting go of my aspiration.
Aloha -- Cathi