Has anyone ever told you to be careful what you pray for because you’ll get it? They have me, and they were right. It is uncanny how our expectations in life are generally met. The old glass half empty / half full argument is not just a cliché used in self-help applications.
In The Five Principles of Performance, published in February 2012, Zig Ziglar discusses the power of high expectations. His premise is that, “We generally get from ourselves and others what we expect”. We decide what we want to see from ourselves and from other people, and then see the results whether good or bad. The key is elevating our expectations. That takes work but the payoffs are huge.
Sometime back, a friend of mine was teaching her youngest son table manners. Her baby was one year old. Her standards were simple enough. He was to use his child spoon. He would say please and thanks. And he would set down his utensil between bites. He even learned to blot his mouth with a napkin. As her son learned the process, partly by instruction and partly from watching the older people, my friend was patient. She just reminded him of the expectation when he forgot – no yelling, no letting it go. The standard stayed the same. Before long, to my amazement this little guy had better table manners than some adults I know. This lesson spoke volumes.