While you are reading this on Saturday morning, I will be waiting for CDs. I know it is old-fashioned to listen to music on a CD but it is how I wanted to experience Itzhak Perlman.

Itzhak Perlman, the violin legend, turned 75 a month and ten days before I did. The day before his birthday, a fascinating full-page article about his life appeared in the New York Times Sunday.

Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim, wrote a mostly glowing review of Perlman. However she was disappointed in a live Perlman performance she attended in 2014. She speculated the disappointment was due to the discrepancy she noted between hearing him live and her memory of listening to his albums.

I felt puzzled when I read this. Having Perlman in front of her wasn’t as satisfying as listening to his recordings?

It has always been the opposite for me – when I listen to a recording of someone I have seen in person – it doesn’t have the same energy as I felt when I witnessed them in person and that’s when I feel let down.

Was her disappointment related to an expectation she had that wasn’t met?

If that is the case, I can relate! In the past my expectations could and, probably still do, become a prison that holds me captive. Before psychoanalysis, I used to expect that if I worked hard enough, everything would turn out as I wanted it to. I learned that this is not reality. Thinking that way was evidence that my sense of omnipotence was strong. I wrote about confronting this sense that I could control things in my memoir, Fear, Folly & Freud: A Psychotherapist in Psychoanalysis.

Mr. Perlman’s success, according to the article, was made possible by his lack of omnipotence. He had a winning combination of self-deprecating charm and self-assurance. Perhaps Perlman was psychoanalyzed!

Do your expectations ever get in the way of your enjoyment? Let me know by replying to this email or commenting on my website: NickyMendenhall.com

PS – If you haven’t read Fear, Folly & Freud about my omnipotence, send me a check for $15 and your mailing address and I will pop an autographed paperback copy in the mail for you postage free!


4 Responses

    • Margaret – how wonderful that you are recognizing the trap aspect of having expectations!
      That’s a fabulous thing to know and watch for. Congratulations! It is not easy to breat
      out of these prisons or traps – but the good news is – we can!

      Thanks so much for checking in! I very much appreciate it!

  1. Expectations! That’s a big one!
    Even if events match–or exceed-my expectations, I am sometimes disappointed because the event ends and now what?!? I’ve gotten better at this as I age–oh the beauty and wisdom of time!!

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