Life can give you a kick when you least expect it – in a good way! There are curve balls and circumstances which shape the things we expect. Sometimes a calculated and cautious outlook is necessary, and at other times, facing ‘expected reality’ shows our faith or lack of.
People are the ones who set expectations and limits. How much is possible in a week of sales from one salesman will be different from two salesmen. The market conditions and economic climate, buying trends, competition and product offering are some of the things in the mix as we predetermine expectations. Once expectations are formed based on market potential and people potential, a realistic evaluation can be assumed, and thus expectations and limits are set.
When expectations are exceeded, it does not mean the bar was set too low, or all conditions were lined up perfectly in favor of the successful person. It also does not mean lady luck stepped in. It probably means someone worked very hard, in spite of the circumstances, and gave it their all thus a successful outcome. The limits and expectations of others were not what determined the outcome. That man or woman, set forth to do the very best possible and nailed it!
There is a story of a young man who was generally considered an okay student. He was a bit slow in writing and processing information, but would make an effort to give his best at all times in school. His elder brother appeared to have that natural ability and flair for academics, but he seemed to have to double his efforts to pass his exams. As he approached his final year of school, he got together with a group of students like himself and they studied with the help of his brother and each other. A few months before his exams he was diagnosed with a medical condition which required urgent surgery immediately after his final exam. He completed his exams, and had multiple surgeries, before the results of his exam became available.
On the day he returned home from the hospital his mother went to collect his results. She advised her friend who went with her of her expectations. She expected, based on the conditions of his ability, pain, challenges and mental stress, a less than positive outcome. It was impossible to believe realistically, there would be very favorable results. Thus, it was a surprise to be advised he was one of the top students in the school that year passing all exams with good grades. It was a surprise, and a time of extreme joy! He was also quite pleased with his results and those of his friends. They all passed their exams. He advised, he knew he had to work harder and gave it his all, with his expectation to do his best, putting no limits on his best.
The student is my son, and I’m the mother who placed limits on expectations at that time.
Exceed in understanding
That was a curve-ball kicking moment which defined how I see expectations and limits.We are all capable of accomplishing that which we set out to do. Everything we can do is done through our preparation and readiness. A runner will train, and prepare, and race with others always hoping to exceed his present time. The race is with his ability before he faces others. He prepares, trains, and becomes the best he can be at his sport. We should approach life this way.
Exceed your own expectations. Be careful in assigning limits to others and yourself. Be ready to receive your best result today for your work.