How Our Expectations Create our Reality

In every part of life, we usually get what we expect.

If you wake up expecting your boss to be a jerk to you, he probably will be. If you drive to the gym expecting to be unfocused during your workout, you’ll find a gym full of squirrels. If you expect your child to act up at just the wrong time, guess what he or she does?

You get what you expect, good or bad.

Expectations Create our Reality

Our expectations create our reality. You get what you expect, good or bad. (Tweet That) | Share this Graphic on Pinterest | Share on Facebook

Years ago I heard a story about a store clerk. I am almost certain that I heard this story from Zig Ziglar, because I can just hear it in his voice.

Whether it was him or someone else, it illustrates how our expectations create our reality so well.

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The wise clerk

A new family moved to town one day and the husband went to the new grocery store. As he was checking out, the clerk greeted him with a warm smile and asked if he was new to town.

“Yes sir, we just moved here,” the man said.

“Great, welcome to town,” the clerk responded. “Anything I can help you with to help you around town?”

“Not that I can think of,” the man replied.” Except for one thing. What are the people like here in this town?”

The clerk thought for a moment and asked the man, “What were they like in the town you just left?”

“Oh, they were the nicest people. So warm and welcoming, kind and just fun to be a part of. We were so sad to go.”

“Well then, that’s just what you’ll find here, too.”

Days later another man walked into the store. Also new to town, the man asked the clerk the same question, “What are the people like here in this town?”

The clerk responded with the same question as well, “What were they like in the town you just left?”

“Oh boy,” the man replied. “They were awful. Rude, inconsiderate, and difficult to live with. We’re so glad to be out of there.”

Again, the clerk responded exactly as he had to the first man. “Well then, that’s just what you’ll find here, too.”

What you expect is what you get.

Choose your favorites

Years ago, my dad told me a story of a golfer he’d known. He was interviewed during a tournament and asked what his favorite type of greens were to putt on.

His answer that time? Bermudagrass greens. That’s what they were playing on that week.

But the real answer was whatever greens they were playing on that week. If the question was asked weeks later it might be bentgrass.

His favorite greens were always that week’s greens. He expected the best and the best came to him.

The bottom line

If you believe that we get what we expect, then what can you do today to shift your expectations to something positive?

What negative expectation can you replace today with a positive expectation?

The bottom line is that you choose your expectations. They aren’t decided for you, given to you, placed upon you, or a result of your circumstances. They are chosen.

Choose wisely.

Question: What expectations do you have for today?

replace negative expectations with positive ones

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  • I expect to write a thank you note to someone today (it’s Thursday!). I expect to help people in my office find solutions to their problems. I expect to enjoy time with my family at the high school football game tonight.

  • I expect to get at least two more subscribers today to my daily success briefing, The Lift Letter. I expect to provide some genuinely useful guidance to at least one person that needs it through the forums I am on.

  • Yep – exactly as your post points out – expect and you will get – the second subscriber today for The Lift Letter at http://www.WingsToSuccess.com just arrived! Thanks Matt. This new site has only been going for a few weeks so this is a big deal for me. Don’t think I’ve had two subscribers in one day before now.

    It is important of course to take action as well as have high expectations. I have been working on LinkedIn to raise awareness of WingsToSuccess, and this has been the source for the two new sign-ups.

  • I need to work on changing my expectations!