Raising Expectations

Worship services are held in the March Air Reserve Base Chapel each unit training assembly weekend. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Megan Just)

Worship services are held in the March Air Reserve Base Chapel each unit training assembly weekend. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Megan Just)

MARCH AIR RESERVE BASE, CALIF. -- How optimistic of a person are you? Do you expect great things to happen? Author Norman Vincent Peale once observed that people tend to get what they expect in life. I once heard a pastor speak on this very phenomenon; he coined it "God's Law of Expectations." He noted that most people tend to hear what they expect to hear, see what they expect to see and even accomplish what they expect to accomplish. Translation: to acquire or achieve great things, it's a good idea to first expect them!

While I would generally agree with the notion that optimistic people tend to go far in life, I would add this small caveat: A persons' positive outlook (or lack thereof) is often closely tied to the courses of action that he or she chooses beforehand. In other words, those who are most hopeful tend to do their best to first influence a good outcome.

For instance, legend has it that when KFC founder, "Colonel" Harland Sanders, first began pursuing his franchise dreams, he pitched his brand of fried chicken across the country--one that had already earned him rave reviews locally--to over a thousand different restaurants before one of them finally bought it. Surely a key reason why his spirits remained so high in the face of overwhelming rejection was the fact that he knew he had a winning recipe in hand. One must wonder how optimistic Colonel Sanders would have stayed if he hadn't first spent the time and effort perfecting his recipe.

So, what great things are you expecting? Maybe a better question is, "Is there something you could do to raise your expectations?" Do you need to work a little harder before you turn in that special project? Could you prepare a little better before you give that important presentation? Could you try just a few more times before giving up on that aspiration of yours? Remember, while great things do occasionally just happen, they don't just happen very often.

Charles Spurgeon once said, "You might not always get what you want, but you always get what you expect." So, go ahead and give it your best, raise your expectations, and then see what happens! God bless.