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\”Expectation\” – Word of the Week

Definition of the word of the week (EXPECTATION): The act or state of looking forward to an event about to happen.

As we begin a new school year, both students and parents are filled with expectations and these expectations will set the tone for the remainder of the year. Are your expectations high or low?
I remember when I started college, I took several courses just out of curiosity. Some of them I expected to be hard and knew that I would have to struggle for a C. Other courses I expected to enjoy more and believed that I could get an A. By the end of the school term, the latter course was usually borderline between an A and a B. Afterwards, I realized that even if I missed the mark and earned only a B, that was still better than the C in the other course. Bottom line is that if we set low expectations for ourselves, we will usually meet these low expectations. Conversely, if we set high expectations, we will usually meet them as well. Similarly, if you expect good things to happen, they usually will. But, if you expect bad things, you will miss the good while you are searching for the bad.
A local parent that I know once told me that her son was doing “really well” in school. When I asked what “really well” meant, she explained that he earned mostly C grades but also a couple of B grades. Another parent who told me that his son was doing “really well” meant that the boy earned almost all A grades. Clearly, the parents’ expectations of the students’ performance was an indicator of success. If one does not expect to do well, one probably won’t. Conversely, if one expects success, one probably will succeed. We lay the groundwork of our future performance in our expectations. Orison Marden, a prolific writer and founder of Success Magazine, wrote, “Your expectation opens or closes the doors of your supply. If you expect grand things, and work honestly for them, they will come to you. Your supply will correspond with your expectation.”
Perhaps American author Greg Anderson said it best when he wrote, “Let us be about setting high standards for life, love, creativity, and wisdom… Setting high standards makes every day and every decade worth looking forward to.

The following quotations are intended to assist in explaining and exemplifying the word of the week:

That is a good book that is opened with expectation, and closed with delight and profit. Amos Alcott

High achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectation. Jack Kinder

The quality of expectations determines the quality of our action. Andre Godin

The real winners in life are the people who look at every situation with an expectation that they can make it work or make it better. Barbara Pletcher

We will always tend to fulfill our own expectation of ourselves. Brian Tracy

Winners make a habit of manufacturing their own positive expectations in advance of the event. Brian Tracy

I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine. Bruce Lee

The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen this tools. Confucius

Our limitations and successes will be based, most often, on our own expectations for ourselves. What the mind dwells upon, the body acts upon. Dennis Waitley

Our environment, the world in which we live and work, is a mirror of our attitudes and expectations. Earl Nightingale

Unhappiness is best defined as the difference between our talents and our expectations. Edward De Bono

Our desires always disappoint us; for though we meet with something that gives us satisfaction, yet it never thoroughly answers our expectation. Francois De La Rochefoucauld

All earthly delights are sweeter in expectation than in enjoyment; but all spiritual pleasures more in fruition than in expectation. Francois FuNelon

I have no expectation of making a hit every time I come to bat. Franklin Roosevelt

If you’re not just a little bit nervous before a match, you probably don’t have the expectations of yourself that you should have. Hale Irwin

Life is largely a matter of expectation. Horace

If you paint in your mind a picture of bright and happy expectations, you put yourself into a condition conducive to your goal. Norman Vincent Peale

There is no medicine like hope, no incentive so great, and no tonic so powerful as expectation of something tomorrow. Orison Marden

A master can tell you what he expects of you. A teacher, though, awakens your own expectations. Patricia Neal

Nobody succeeds beyond his or her wildest expectations unless he or she begins with some wild expectations. Ralph Charell

High expectations are the key to everything. Sam Walton

We love to expect, and when expectation is either disappointed or gratified, we want to be again expecting. Samuel Johnson

We never live; we are always in the expectation of living. Voltaire

Uncertainty and expectation are the joys of life. William Congreve

LTC Patrick Beer, the Dean of Students and Commandant of Cadets at Georgia Military College, prepares this study guide each week as part of the institution’s character education program. He welcomes comments and suggestions from readers. He can be contacted by phone, 478-445-2710 or by email, pbeer@gmc.cc.ga.us