What Does “Lowering Expectations” Really Mean, and What Does It Have to do with Prepping?

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by Fabian Ommar

Author of The ULTIMATE Survival Gear Handbook and  Street Survivalism

José came up with a very insightful and thought-provoking article about societal control and other bizarre initiatives going on today around the world. And really – I guess we all agree – things are crazy right now. One point was made about lowering expectations.

Inspired by his personal and frank tone, I decided to (respectfully) offer my perspective too, a different one, if only to try and stir up the debate on such a controversial yet urgent topic. I apologize in advance to everyone for being more opinionated than usual. This was actually supposed to be a reply to be posted in the comments. But in trying to express my reflections and opinions on the topic I ended up writing more than I wanted, so here it is.

What does “lowering expectations” mean?

And what does that have to do with prepping?

Life is hard enough even when it’s good. It’s unfair, risky, and a constant struggle. And maybe that’s the very purpose of existence: to keep going, to face and overcome adversity – “to survive”. Under that light, lowering expectations doesn’t necessarily mean “life sucks”. That verdict (or realization) is more a perception of conscience than factual reality.

Being able to adjust our expectations to the twists and changes that are part and parcel of life means being flexible and resilient. We don’t do it because we enjoy it, but because we have to. Or else, existence becomes impossible, at the very least insufferable. Adapting and thus surviving starts with that, then.

What really should concern us though is the possibility (or should I say the likelihood certainty) of things get even crazier in the near future. With that perspective, isn’t lowering our expectations a sensible thing to do – regardless of the causes, or if it’s being proposed by someone we don’t like?

Our expectations are unrealistically high sometimes.

Let’s get real: our “expectations” have been anchored high by decades of abundance, hedonistic consumerism, unprecedented technological advance, and (mostly) untroubled peace and prosperity.

And that’s fine – as long as we don’t lose sight of reality and feel entitled. If we do, we may have trouble accepting, and consequently adapting to a new reality. Maybe I fail to see the big picture, but I don’t feel in the least triggered by someone calling for the lowering of my expectations.

I admit it’s disturbing, and also to see some unofficial and shady organization declaring I will own nothing and be happy. But should that be worrying, fearsome, or cause so much anxiety? Who said those propositions are the reality of things, instead of some spurious narrative by a group of overinflated egos and sociopaths?

Perhaps most important: whoever said benign conditions are warranted, or endless prosperity should be taken for granted? That’s entitlement right there. We can (and should) make plans, nourish dreams, and work hard – and that’s it. Beyond that, very little is certain.

What expectations should we have if we truly, honestly believe the world doesn’t owe us anything?

It really doesn’t, and that’s a freeing thought. I’ve been deliberately and proactively lowering my expectations and doing my best to remain “happy”, in case the world pulls the rug under me, since much long before I even became aware of this NWO nonsense. Because, well, that’s life.

Does that mean I’ve lowered my guard, my efforts, my lifestyle? Or that I’m giving up and surrendering? On the contrary: I’ll keep working and fighting for my well-being and ultimately my survival (and my family’s), focused on what’s under my control, for as long as necessary, or for as long as I can. I see that as the essence of hoping for the best and preparing for the worst.

People everywhere have been, and will keep, doing the same. It’s called living.  Thus, I can’t even afford to care much for what Bill, Klaus or Joe, or some newspaper or NGO, say. F*ck those figureheads and their entities.

We must refuse to get offended or change our perceptions because austerity is being proposed, or even imposed, by anyone we deem as TPTB.

If everything coming from them is “evil” and has second, third, and fourth intentions, why would we waste time, mental bandwidth, or give them the power to mold our thoughts, beliefs, and actions like that? Especially if doing so can help them in hastening or even fulfilling their plans?

We feel deceived and robbed, and rightly so because the system is definitely rigged and right now this process of rising oppression and wealth concentration – which has existed for the entire history of mankind – is accelerating and becoming more evident, already causing a lot of suffering.

It’s frustrating and disheartening, no question. But it’s too late to reverse it or neutralize what’s coming. Yes, this is about the “Great Reset”. But don’t get worked up just yet: this is just a name for the natural cycle that will take place regardless, simply because no party can last forever.

The reset will happen either way

Every once in a while, or every few generations, the system crumbles under its own weight, complexity, and corruption. And a new cycle begins. This dynamic repeats throughout history.

Resets are natural and frequent occurrences. They can have financial, political, or social nature. In fact, it’s usually the three, because they’re all deeply linked. Some even have names – Perestroika, Bretton Woods – while others happen anonymously, or locally, with less fanfare and impact. Resets can also be viewed as a rebirth. A birth is an event of change and pain, but also of joy, hope, and promises of future prosperity. The Great Reset is just another re-birth, so all of those phases are to be expected.

Of course, something of this magnitude and extent always contains greater risks and other dangers (e.g. a world conflict). Either way, it’s a historical certainty that there will be pain. But at some point, the growth, prosperity, and joy will return.

It’s happening more due to “gravity” and “inertia” (laws of nature), than by the design of a group of bloated egos and big mouths.

These people are powerful, but they’re not gods. I recognize their positions and capacities, as much as anyone else’s, because doing differently would be a mistake. They’re part of this, but not the whole thing or even the main thing. We should stop giving them more credit than deserved. Objectively, they’re as stupid, reckless, short-sighted and self-centered, and as powerless in the face of nature as every one of their fellow humans.

The damage has already been done.

Above all else, they can’t control or prevent the fallout of what has already been done to the economy or the environment.

Of course, that won’t keep them from trying their hand either way, just as we’re trying to prepare and survive crap hitting the fan, and if possible thrive, all in the same world.

They can push their narratives and plans, and even try to enforce their world views, taking advantage of the crisis and confusion we all created together. But their words and actions will have little net effect in the great scheme of things. The forces at motion are much bigger than any group has power over, even the almighty elites, governments, and big corporations.

This isn’t to say we won’t be impacted.

This doesn’t mean we won’t be impacted by those (and other) events and developments.

When such forces are unleashed, things get unpredictable. Many won’t make it through, that’s for sure. But while we are alive and conscious, we have options. Living in the lower spheres of this reality, we can buy or reject narratives.

And if collective revolt or a revolution comes at some point, we will have to choose whether we join in, or not. Maybe we get dragged in, against our will. Don’t say it can’t happen, because it has so many times before in history. None of that will change the course of things, but it’s a personal choice and ultimately, what each of us has to live with individually.

What we do when the crunch comes is the real meaning of free will.

I aspire to be ready to face the good and the bad with the same acceptance and gratitude.

I’m sure some people out there would love to have my bad days. If something, I owe the world for the blessing of my life. However hard it may be, it’s still much better than many out there have right now, or have had in the past. And for that, I’m immensely grateful. That’s why I give my all to pursue the best life I can, for myself and everyone around me.

At the same time, I actively and constantly seek discomfort and hardship. That’s how I prepare. Others recommend this too, whether it’s training in bad weather or “embracing the suck.”

I’m in no way exempting the elites, politicians or any of TPTB from their sins.

It’s just an attempt at a distant and less passionate look at the situation (as much as possible, considering I’m just human and part of the process myself).

Do I think things will get bad?


I believe it’s inevitable and this process will bring suffering and pain and demand sacrifice going ahead. If I thought otherwise I wouldn’t be preparing since the 2008 Great Financial Crisis and doing everything I can to promote preparedness and awareness.

We are in for great difficulty ahead.

I hope it has become clear that we’re in for a very, very hard period going ahead.

It’s just that I believe it’s a larger and cyclical turning, much more than by design. It may not make a difference in practice, but it does in my mind and ultimately in my actions.

Admittedly, some of the hardship and challenges might come from top-down policies, schemes, and interventions. As we’ve seen, TPTB (bureaucrats, governments, and powerful elites) are very efficient at screwing things up and taking advantage of confusion and turmoil for their own benefit.

Will that ever change? Probably not, so back to our smaller circles

Keeping hopeful, positive, and in control of one’s self is hard but necessary when the immediate future doesn’t seem much promising (especially if compared to the recent past). As Selco says, now is the time to focus on our small circles.

While the way the world is going right now doesn’t make me happy, I refuse to concede any group or entity that power, nor hold a grudge or become sour. I tend to take extreme ownership (as proposed by Jocko Willink) because that’s what’s up to me and can change my reality.

I don’t pretend to change anyone’s view. I just wanted to offer an empowering message. Ultimately, “this too shall pass” just as other times of incredible hardship have passed. So while going through, I only hope to have the strength to keep doing everything I can to not kill my soul (or let others do it), especially if I have to sacrifice the rest to survive.

Lowering expectations is a small price to pay for keeping my soul.

What are your thoughts on lowering expectations?

Many people seem angered at the very idea of lowering expectations, even personally insulted. How are you prepared to adapt to survive the changes that are ahead? What would you give up? What would you insist on keeping?

Let’s discuss it in the comments.

About Fabian

Fabian Ommar is a 50-year-old middle-class worker living in São Paulo, Brazil. Far from being the super-tactical or highly trained military survivor type, he is the average joe who since his youth has been involved with self-reliance and outdoor activities. Fabian also chooses to practice the practical side of balancing life between a big city and rural/wilderness settings. Since the 2008 world economic crisis, he has been training and helping others in his area to become better prepared for the “constant, slow-burning SHTF” of living in a 3rd world country.

Fabian’s ebook, Street Survivalism: A Practical Training Guide To Life In The City, is a practical training method for common city dwellers based on the lifestyle of the homeless (real-life survivors) to be more psychologically, mentally, and physically prepared to deal with the harsh reality of the streets during normal or difficult times. 

You can follow Fabian on Instagram @stoicsurvivor

Fabian Ommar

About the Author

Fabian Ommar

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