I recently picked up Joel Osteen’s book You Can You Will because it was on clearance at Shopko and I figured it had some wisdom that was worth $5.95. This morning I started the third chapter called “Expect Good Things” and it’s all about setting your expectations so that you receive more of what you want in life.
Our expectations set the limits for our lives. If you expect little, you’re going to receive little … But if you expect more favor, more good breaks, a promotion, and an increase, then you will see new levels of favor and success.
This got me thinking, how often do we set our expectations low to avoid disappointment? If we expect little, we won’t be disappointed when we receive little. I’ve even heard it said that the key to happiness is having low expectations. And to some extent it makes sense, if we have low expectations, we’re less likely to be disappointed in life. But at what point does this become a self-fulfilling prophecy? In the short-term, it might make us happier because we aren’t disappointed but long-term I believe low expectations will hurt us.
I can think of different periods in my life where I’ve held high and low expectations and the results that ensued. When I first started my business six years ago I assumed that everyone would see what I saw and either join me in business or support what I was doing. My expectations weren’t met but I did have great results over time while I maintained those expectations. However, over time, like a rock that’s constantly hit by the waves of adversity, I was worn down. And eventually, my expectations changed. I assumed that no one would understand what I was doing and want the same for themselves. I lowered my expectations.
Having low expectations caused me to stop showing up at networking events, making new connections and being bold when sharing my story. As a result, can you guess what happened? My expectations were met. I proved my expectations right, no one saw the opportunity, people stopped supporting me and stopped joining me in business. It became a self-fulfilling prophecy. I wasn’t disappointed because I was expecting the results I was receiving. But this is where it gets interesting, it created this protective shell around me that kept me insulated from disappointment in the short-term. Long-term I can tell you it absolutely hurt my business and my spirit.
I needed to upgrade my expectations.
You and I need to do the same things. We need to hold high expectations. We need to expect that we will be met with good, that people will like us, support us and accept us as we are. I believe the world we see and experience is a reflection of what we bring to the world. When you expect good things to happen and you approach your days with excited anticipation you’re going to find a lot more good things. All of our experiences start with us and what goes on between the ears. What could happen to you if you expected great things to come your way?
This is the expectation I am going to bring to my book journey. I expect that this book will find the right people, that it will sell and have an impact. When I started noodling the idea of writing a book I had a coach tell me that even if no one reads the book, it will have an impact on me. I agree that that’s true but what a depressing thought! If I write this book with the expectation that I’m the only one who will be impacted, I’m bringing a lesser self to the table. I need to expect that others need to hear my story and what I have to say. When I write with others in mind and helping others on their journey, the results are far superior. I’m raising my expectations and I challenge you to do the same!
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