Saturday, 6 September 2008

What did you expect?

When was the last time someone said “what did you expect” to you? Probably when something had gone wrong, or you had failed to achieve what you wanted. A negative, in other words.
When something positive happens, you are much more likely to be told (or to think) that you worked hard for it, or that it was down to good luck, rather than “what did you expect”.
Here’s the theory – expect more often. Not just more (although that’s good too), but more-often. Everyone has expectations, but they are often subconscious. Set-out, think through or even write down what you expect before you start, and it is more likely to happen. Whether it is a business meeting, a run/gym session, or a golf shot, tell yourself what you expect before you begin.

Take a look at your to-do or task list (if you’re one of the lucky ones who have one) at the start of the day and tell yourself (or someone else) how many of them you expect to complete today. Not how many you’d like to complete (all of them?), but how many you expect to complete. You will be more likely to succeed, and it will not because of luck, or because you worked harder. This is a very short term example. Here is a very long term example:

The father that expects his teenage daughter to be back from her night out by 10pm is more likely to be rewarded by seeing her home before curfew than the one who does not expect it. (Beware, and read this correctly, no-one is expecting their daughter to be late, one expects her to be on time, the other does not expect). This expectation would need to be built up over a lifetime of expectation and obedience; after all, if the daughter is habitually home late, expectation alone is unlikely to change the pattern.

So set your expectations, and expect more often. Feel free to just expect more too, it’s no bad thing. As Oddball (Donald Sutherland) said in Kelly’s Heroes, “Positive vibes, Man!”