Great Expectations! – A few thoughts on expecting the best for your life, and how to get it.
Oh, you negative nellies. You glass is half-empty folk. You neighing naysayers. You waiting for the other shoe to droppers. I know you! I AM you.
I’ve always called myself a closet pessimist. Publicly, I come across as very positive, but in reality, my go-to internal thoughts tend to be of the gloom and doom persuasion.
When it’s a Monday, what do I naturally assume? I assume that it’s going to be a dreadful, good-for-nothing, POS, kind of a day. But why would I immediately begin assuming that? How do I know yet? Oh sure, I have to work but what if I got a raise that day? Or got the highly coveted “atta-girl”?
And what about when I get a letter from the I.R.S. and I immediately assume it’s bad news and will cost me dearly?
Ok…wait, that’s a bad example because that’s always the case. But anyway, you get my point.
After I’ve had difficult days, I tend to want to gird my loins, and sharpen my steel with the same fervor as if I were about to enter a Gladiator arena with a prickly persona of “YOU WON’T TAKE ME ALIVE”!
But recently I received a very well said piece of advice. “Change those expectations. They usually predict the future!”
Damn. How true is that?
How many times have you expected the worst and the Universe happily delivered? Now, I don’t go full-on law-of-attraction in my life because I believe in a creator who weaves a wonderful canvas within our lives and that some things are truly out of our control. And sometimes bad things happen to beautifully positive people at no fault of their own. For the most part, however, I do believe in the whole “sending vibrations” out to the world in the same way you want the world to send vibrations back.
Have you noticed how people who always expect the best, ad nauseam say me the sourpuss, they really do tend to receive it? And those who expect the worse tend to get that too. Or how about people who continuously voice that thing they don’t want only to have it show up in their lives. If I’m repeatedly saying, “I don’t want a bad day. I don’t want a bad day. Bad day…BAD DAY!” Everything about voicing is in a negative connotation. Universe: Oh, you want a bad day? Here you go. Me: No! I said DON’T, DON’T. DO NOT! Oy.”
So how do you fix it? I’m glad you asked. Maybe we can work on this one together.
- Always assume the best outcome even in the worst of situations.
I have such a great example for this because it’s starting to have a big impact on my life. My boyfriend is an insanely positive person. He recently traveled to Oklahoma for the final mountain bike enduro race of the season. And if you know nothing of mountain bike enduro races, google it. These people are insane. Anyway, for any of these races he’ll go to said race location and spend 1 to 2 days “pre-riding” so as to not be surprised by any “trees of death” crossing the path, or “utter jumps of despair” as I would name them, he just calls them “fun”.
But then he spends two days racing. The weather forecast however for this most recent expedition was none too pleasant as it called for squalls, tornadoes, and small houses being dropped on witches. Once the trails become wet, it becomes a giant slippery slope apparently which he equates to snot on rocks. I would immediately be like, oh, my God, I’m going to die.
He looks at the same situation and says, “Hey, everybody has to ride the same trail, and I’m gonna kick ass.” Then he proceeds to kick ass. He even won his class overall for the season. He expects the best even in gnarly conditions, and though he prepares himself fully, he assumes the position of the very best outcome. Now, this doesn’t mean to say he hasn’t had bad races. That would give me even more reasons to be negative, but it doesn’t matter. He ALWAYS assumes the best even if history ever says otherwise.
So regardless of the quantifiers, i.e. Mondays, IRS mail, rain, snot, death trees, and such, assume the best case scenario fully.
2. Flip your internal dialogue’s frown upside down.
First, pay very close attention to what you are saying to yourself and then phrase it in the very best possible light. Instead of saying, “I don’t want a bad day”, say “Today will be a good day.” Create a few different affirmations of whatever it is you are dealing with then say them, out loud, a lot, or until your dog looks at you funny.
3. Go all “Marcus Aurelius” on your day.
Since I’m apparently going fully ancient Rome with this post, I may as well go all the way. Marcus Aurelius was the last of the “Five Good Emperors” of Rome. He ruled from 161 A.D until his death in 180 A.D. He was also a great philosopher and apparently a very good man. I love reading his writing because it fully transcends the decades. The same philosophies he applied in his day are fully applicable today.
And yes, yes, the same Marcus Aurelius as played by Richard Harris in Gladiator.
Here’s just some of the brilliant shit he said. You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength. Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.
Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.
The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.
Like I said above, this is something you and I can work on together. I’d love to expect the best instead of feeling like I have to gird my loins because the worst is on its way. And I don’t fault anyone for feeling that way because most of the people I know who do this have been deeply wounded in some manner. However, we still have a choice on how to act and react to any indiscretions that happen in our lives. Even if it’s rather large ones.
You have breath and life. And that my friend is reason enough to expect beautiful things.