Expectations alter Reality
In Expectations Part I we explored how expectations kill people.
But expectations have another, perhaps more powerful function.They bend reality to meet us.
Research and anecdotal evidence shows that many people in survival situations stay alive against incredible odds, sometimes even defying medical science. It would be reasonable to think that they are people who are physically tough, or better trained for the situation that they face. The reality is far more interesting – the one thing they have in common is that they expect to survive.
Here’s an example from “Unbroken”, Laura Hillenbrand’s recent biography of Louie Zamparini. quote describes Louie's experience lost at sea on a life raft for 47days with 2 crew mates in 1943, after being shot down over the Pacific.
“Though all three men faced the same hardship, their differing perceptions of it appeared to be shaping their fates. Louie and Phil's hope displaced their fear and inspired them to work toward their survival, and each success renewed their physical and emotional vigour. Mac's resignation seemed to paralyse him and the less he participated in their efforts to survive, the more he slipped. Though he did the least, as the days passed, it was he who faded the most. Louie and Phil's optimism, and Mac's hopelessness, were becoming self-fulfilling.”
Mac passed away, while the other two survived their ordeal.
What does this link between expectation and survival mean to us in the modern world? Check out the diagram below…
Zamparini intended to survivive. He expected events to unfold to support his intention. He gave his attention to the evidence that suggested he was right, and to the actions that supported his intention.
You and I have intentions and expectations everyday, in every area of our lives, whether we are aware of them or not. They giude and focus our attention. For the greatest liklihood of success, all three factors need to be concious and work in harmony with each other.
Asking yourself these questions will assist in bringing them into your concious mind:
What is my intention? (check yourself for clarity and alignment)
What are my expectations in this situation?
Now give your attention to the actions and mindsets that serve you best in this moment, and watch as reality begins to take shape around you according to your expectations.