It was in 1990 and I was preparing to make a trip to the city that had been my home for many years (having only moved away the previous year). I was very, very excited about the upcoming vacation and found myself fantasizing about how wonderful it would be. I visualized visits with all the people I cared about and just what those occasions would be like. Suddenly it hit me how I was idealizing my expectations and truly setting myself up for disappointment. And so I decided to make my only objective that of getting there and getting back. That, I told myself, would make it a successful trip and anything else would be icing on the cake.
It is important to expect nothing,
To take every experience,
Including the negative ones,
As merely steps on the path,
And to proceed.
-- Ram Dass
As it happened, I had a truly wonderful time. But that wonderful time was different from my earlier fantasy. If I had not let go of the expectations I had been cultivating I don't think I would have experienced my visit "home" as wonderful at all.