That sounds like a commercial slogan. But it originated first from an English minister William Carey in 1792.
I chose this topic based on my Sunday experiences. It started with a sermon I listened to in the morning. Joel Osteen talked about “UnprecedentedFavors.” He painted a marvelous picture of all the great things God has in store for us – by longing for them and expecting them to happen in faith.
“An intense anticipation itself transforms possibility into reality; our desires being often but precursors of the things which we are capable of performing.”
~ Samuel Smiles, (Scottish author, 1812-1904)
Guess what our Sunday service was about? Rev.In Jin Moon elaborated further on the topic by creating an awareness of the root of our existence, recognizing our divinity. She challenged us to avoid negative expectations by staying away from doubt, worry and self-pity.
~ David Brooks, Canadian born journalist
“Then there are expectations. The mind makes models of what it thinks will happen, which colors its perceptions of what is actually happening. If you give people a hand cream and tell them it will reduce pain, you are building a set of expectations. People really feel their pain diminish, even if the cream is just a lotion. People who are given a prescription they are told costs $2.50 a pill experience much more pain relief than those given what they are told is a 10-cent pill (even though all pills are placebos. As Jonah Lehrer write: 'Their predictions became self-fulfilling prophecies.'"
That was too good to be true to have two sermons on the same day. So I did my own research on the topic and learned that expectation is an actual force – The law of expectation activates that force. The Law of Expectations tells us that whatever one expects, with confidence, becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. When one expects with self-assurance that good things will happen, they usually will. If, on the other hand, one expects a negative outcome to a situation, then the outcome will usually be negative.
What else can we do to reinforce positive expectations?
The Tao of Positive Expectations states: Positive expectation begets positive experience.
“Tao” means the Way of Nature, or the Way of the Universe - the way things work. Taoism originated in China and is the base for the teachings of Confucius and Zen Buddhism.
~ Rajneesh, Hindu teacher, 1931-1990
“Be realistic, expect a miracle.”
In the Western world positive expectation is known as the Pygmalion Effect. The Pygmalion Effect is a form of self-fulfilling prophecy. It refers to the phenomenon in which the greater the expectation placed upon people, often children or students and employees, the better they perform.
It is based on experiences of educators where teachers were told, that a class of students were especially selected based on their IQ. The teachers had a wonderful experience with the students. At the end of the school year they learned that the students were just average. The expectation of the teachers created the above average performance of the students.
“When we expect certain behaviors of others, we are likely to act in ways that make the expected behavior more likely to occur.”
~ (Rosenthal and Babad, 1985)
From all these teachings we can conclude that it is necessary to have a positive state of mind. Positive thinking creates positive emotions and positive emotions create constructive habits. They are supported by positive self-talk. To round it all up: it is most important to be grateful. Gratitude is the base for everything when you expect miracles. That is not much to ask, is it?