Universal Law Series - The Law Of Expectation

Posted by Nick Niesen on October 26th, 2010

This is the fifth of seven articles in our continuing series covering the core seven Universal Laws. The focus of this article is the fifth Law ? the Law of Expectations.

Law of Expectations

Simply stated, the Law of Expectations tells us that whatever one expects, with confidence, becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. When one expects with confidence 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.

Our expectations play a key role in our own outcomes and they also have a remarkable effect on the people around us. What we expect from those around us determines our attitude toward them more than any other factor. In turn, the people around us tend to reflect our attitudes right back at us - whether the expectations and attitudes are positive or negative, good or bad.

Dr. Robert Rosenthal of the University of California ? Riverside, has spent more than 40 years studying the idea that one?s expectations for the behavior of another, can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. His years of experimentation show this to be true. In his landmark book, ?Pygmalion in the Classroom?, Rosenthal tells of case after case where teachers were told that a student, or sometimes a whole class, was extremely bright and was predicted to make a quantum leap in academic performance in the coming year. Even though the students were randomly chosen from the school population at large, provided the teacher believed that the student or students were exceptional and expected them to excel, the students performed at much higher levels than other students in the same or similar classes, and vastly better than could have been predicted by previous grades or behavior.

The Arbinger Institute (http://www.arbinger.com) has published a terrific book called ?Leadership and Self Deception ? Getting out of the Box?. While the book focuses on developing superior leadership skills through being true to one?s self, they talk a lot about the way we view others and the way we expect others to act ? based on our own internal prejudices. They refer to this as ?being inside the box in how we view others.? It is not until we choose to view others as they really are (i.e. human beings with valuable experiences, viewpoints and inputs) that we will be able to connect at a deeper level and achieve higher degrees of understanding and communication. In other words, it is not until our expectations of others change that we can change our own experiences with them.

Take a moment to think about your own expectations ? of yourself and those around you. Your expectations exert a powerful influence on people and events, for good or for bad, so be extremely careful!

What You Can Do

There are a few things that you can start doing immediately that will help you to harness the awesome power of the Law of Expectations:

1. Always expect the best! Assume the very best of intentions on the part of those around you. There is no better place to start than home. Tell your spouse and children on a regular basis that you believe in them, that you think they are wonderful, that you love them and that you are proud of them.

2. Practice these same behaviors with your staff and coworkers. The very best managers, entrepreneurs, and salespeople are "high expectations" people.

3. Expect the best of yourself. Focus on your unlimited potential and imagine that you can accomplish anything that you put your mind to. Imagine that your greatest moments lie ahead and that everything that has happened to you up to now has merely been a preparation for the great things that are yet to come.

There is no mystery to achieving success - it is available to all of us. One need only be aware of, understand and, most importantly, live in accordance with Universal Law! Through expecting the best of yourself and others, you can attain the levels of success that you truly want!

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Nick Niesen

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Nick Niesen
Joined: April 29th, 2015
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