Re: Too many expectations?
James, I don't think things will "just come to you", you do have to make an effort that they will come to you. I think that was Lynn's point. (Lynn, please correct me if I'm wrong)
However, I think aikido is a better tool for such things, than working out at the gym. I'm sure there are folks out there who can create and fullfill those same expectations who do something like gardening, weight training, etc. But even if aikido is more prone to it (perhaps because of its philosophy) you, yourself, still have the responsibility for making that happen. My self-discovery was just that. Before Aikido, I was that just thinking about profound ideas did nothing for me (before aikido I studied Wicca, Zen, Islam, Taoism, New Age, and other self-improvement movements [Deepak Chopra]), but with aikido I have actual practiced it. Applying my thoughts to my actions is what has made the biggest difference fulfilling expectations, albeit expectations that changed after I started aikido.
The best way to keep yourself from getting dissillusioned is being open to the possibility that your understanding of aikido will change, like me, and as a result your expectations will, too. Yes, you can fulfill that list of yours, but in the end it is up to you to make it happen.