Sunday, August 05, 2007

Curious about Expectations: How They Can Help and/or Hurt Us?

If you paint in your mind a picture of bright and happy expectations, you put yourself into a condition conducive to your goal.” - Norman Vincent Peale, American clergyman

Being in control of your life and having realistic expectations about your day-to-day challenges are the keys to stress management, which is perhaps the most important ingredient to living a happy, healthy and rewarding life.” - Marilu Henner, American actress

We tend to live up to our expectations.” - Earl Nightingale, American entertainer

There was a time when I was proudly working for a popular restaurant chain. When I mentioned where I worked, people reacted with positive remarks about our service and our food. We were always crowded because our guests held high expectations of their experiences. We had created those expectations.

Things began to change, however, with new management, a cutting of costs and less attention to service. We were no longer fulfilling the expectations we had worked hard to establish. Before long, the restaurant filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and one day the doors were chained shut.

I submit to you that not only must we fulfill the expectations that others have of us and our businesses, but we must also set expectations for ourselves and others’ perceptions of us.

And, I found many experts that second that opinion:
  • And indeed if you think you're a genius at something, what you achieve is very much according to your expectations; if you think you're no good, you're not going to get anywhere.” - Diana Wynne Jones, English writer
  • You should live your own life and live up to your own expectations, and those are the only things I really care about it.” - Tiger Woods, American athlete
  • The first step in exceeding your customer's expectations is to know those expectations.” - Roy H. Williams, American businessman
  • It is only through raising expectations and striving for excellence that our children can reach their full potential.” - Brad Henry, American politician
  • Winners make a habit of manufacturing their own positive expectations in advance of the event.” - Brian Tracy, American author

But, I also found other interesting thoughts about expectations:

  • Never idealize others. They will never live up to your expectations.” - Leo Buscaglia, American author
  • Reputation is fine but you have to keep justifying it. In a sense, it makes it harder because people's expectations of you are higher. So, you have to fulfill those expectations. Or, try to exceed those expectations. But, it becomes more difficult as time goes on.” - Derek Jacobi, British actor
  • We don't want people to have expectations of us, but then we have expectations of everybody else.” - Lauryn Hill, American musician
  • Unhappiness is best defined as the difference between our talents and our expectations.” - Edward de Bono, British psychologist
  • There is hardly any activity, any enterprise, which is started out with such tremendous hopes and expectations, and yet which fails so regularly, as love.” - Erich Fromm, American psychologist

And, especially for you and for me during the upcoming week and weeks:

The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools.” – Confucius, Chinese philosopher

You can't base your life on other people's expectations.” - Stevie Wonder, American musician

The progress of the natural sciences in modern times has of course so much exceeded all expectations that any suggestion that there may be some limits to it is bound to arouse suspicion.” - Friedrich August von Hayek, Austrian economist

I have great expectations for all of us! What are yours?