Great Expectations

People are like nitrogen or traffic jams – we’re everywhere.

At home, at work, in the store, on the street, in traffic, in meetings, in restaurants – people all over the place. To help navigate through the sea of people you encounter in an average day, you have a bundle of expectations about what they’ll do and how they’ll act.

He’ll be wanting to leave soon. She won’t give a damn. I’ll get laughed out of the room. You won’t even notice.

Unbeknownst to you, some of those expectations will affect your decisions, actions and feelings, taking you down a road based simply on how you think they’ll think, feel and act. And often, those expectations are just made-up stories.

So let’s see how we can get you to step outside of the normal narrative, look for a new opportunity to do something that matters, and build confidence as a result.

  1. For today, notice when you have an expectation about what somebody else should do. Whether it’s something you’re expecting them to do, something you expect them to think or perhaps even something you expect they want you to do, gently notice it.
  2. Accept that your expectation is just a thought in your head, and leave it be. Don’t let it determine what you think or do next.
  3. With that expectation off to one side, over in the wings so to speak, what can you do now to help, enhance or delight (either the person you just had the expectation about or the situation you’re in)?
  4. Do it.
  5. Repeat steps 1 to 4 each day for the next week.

In the comments, let me know what you find.

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