At some stage in your life, you’ve probably been told not to count your chickens before they have hatched. You were probably told to not get your hopes up and to not expect too much – just in case you might be disappointed. For most of us this, or some variation of it, was told to us over and over again by well-meaning, but ill-informed people. From an early age the idea of staying in an emotional “safe zone” was instilled in most of us until it eventually became belief systems that now control our behaviours.
We live in a culture were the predominant psychology is based in fear. The fear of loss drives and motivates most people’s decisions and behaviours. From this mindset the subconscious invented mechanisms to protect itself and a saying like “don’t count your chickens before they’ve hatched” is but only one illustration of how the culture prepares and “grooms” us from an early age to settle for the lowest denominator. “Go for the lowest and easiest to make sure that you at least get something.” “Don’t expect too much, just in case you don’t get anything at all.” From this mindset we lose all our power; the power that is born in the belief that we are indeed worthy of all the success and all the abundance that we can possibly dream of.
Expectation is one of the most powerful resources that you possess. An intense anticipation can transform possibility into reality. One of the biggest reasons why most people never get to live their dreams is because they lack the motivation to follow their dreams. The real purpose of a goal is to act like a directional compass that guides your life in a specific direction. A strong and exciting goal has the power to motivate and inspire you. When you fuel this goal with expectation you set in motion an unstoppable force that will give you that internal drive that will enable you to create virtually anything you desire. When you count your chickens before they’ve hatched you create a sense of excitement and enthusiasm that has immense power to motivate you. Success and achievement are rarely the result of your ability but rather the product of your motivation; of your ability to consistently take action on your dreams and goals.
Expectation is not the same as hope. Most people hope that one day they will get what they really want or that one day they will get lucky and all their dreams will come true. Hoping is nothing but a weak prayer. Hoping always includes success and failure while expectation is solely fixed on one single outcome. When you count your chickens before they’ve hatched you nurture your expectation; you make it stronger and most importantly, you make it real. It is a fixing of purpose where no-one or no-thing can throw you off course. When you create that intense feeling of expectation you not only imagine having what you want but you start to create the feeling of already having it.
Whatever you expect with certainty will become your own self-fulfilling prophecy. We all long for certainty on some level. For most people certainty comes from seeing and experiencing things before they “believe” it. This is why they keep re-creating and experiencing the same old things over and over again. When you use your mind, your emotions and your imagination to create the certainty within you, then anything is possible. Expectation goes beyond hoping. You want to be like the little kid on Christmas who knows that he’s getting a new bike, but he has to wait until Christmas morning before he can actually feel and touch it.
Have you ever ordered something really exciting and then had to wait for it in the post? You knew you were going to get it and you anxiously await the moment of delivery. You anticipate the moment where the image in your mind’s eye becomes real and where you can touch it, even though the imaginary experience felt just as real. This is what expectation really is. It is getting excited in advance. It is feeling the feelings in advance. It is the most powerful motivator there is. Expectation, fuelled by emotion, acts like a vacuum within you. It is like a thirst that forms a burning desire that you will do anything to fulfil. This is when your “should’s” become “musts” and when it is a must you will get it.
With expectation you can start to transform your perception of life, especially your life. Because you no longer hope for what you want, you expect it to come along any second. There are no more doubts and no more hoping. There is only a knowing and a feeling of certainty. When you know something you can stop doubting and questioning. Now, every situation becomes an opportunity to receive your goal. Every person becomes a player in the process and every problem becomes a stepping stone towards the realization of your dreams. You have that certainty that the outcome is resolved and that you are merely in the process; waiting for “Christmas morning” to come.
You have to let go of the mentality that is based on the fear of loss; the mentality that is grounded in the belief that you are not worthy of having it all. Let go of the beliefs that you might be disappointed when you give it your all and it doesn’t work out. All they do is to lock you up in a world where you never even “try” just because you might not make it. If anything, you want to overestimate your abilities. Overestimate your capability. When you feel like you are running up a hill that is too steep, don’t turn back and run down hill. Instead, up the prize for getting to the top. Make the reward more compelling and you will find within yourself a strength that was previously unavailable. This is how you access your real resources, those resources that lie asleep within you waiting to be called upon. Nothing of significant value has ever been created without enthusiasm.
Do whatever it takes to “count” your chickens; whatever it takes to create the feeling of already having it. If you have goals you need to start living them and the way you do that is to build your expectation. Do whatever it takes to create the feeling of already having it. Make it real. The legendary musician, Jackson Browne once said that whenever he gets nominated for an award he always expects to win, even when he is the underdog. He always prepares a victory speech. What is your victory speech? How can you prepare for what you desire most from life? What can you do to make it real? Most people plan to fail by never expecting to succeed. Remember that your results will rarely exceed your expectations.
Jim Carrey, when he was broke and poor, would go and sit looking at the Hollywood sign. He wrote himself a cheque postdated 3-5 years ahead, for the sum of $10 million for ‘acting services rendered’, and just before that time expired he was offered $10 million for his role in Dumb and Dumber.