Keep High Expectations

“It’s a funny thing about life; if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it.” – William Somerset Maugham … 

Some people are willing to accept nearly anything from anybody. They allow others to use them, abuse them, and treat them poorly… basically, to walk all over them. When they look for work, they accept whatever comes along instead of finding something they enjoy doing or something that fits well with their skills and abilities. And when life treats them unfairly, they accept it as the norm. These individuals seldom get “the best” from life.

Of course, this is not a healthy or satisfying way to go through life. It squanders all the opportunities and blessings that life has to offer us–deep relationships to be formed, fulfilling experiences to be enjoyed and shared, abundant wisdom and knowledge to be cultivated, positive growth and change to be realized, and even the many simple material things that are available to enjoy in life. In truth, the more we expect from life… the more it tends to give back.

I know that the more I expect from my children, the better effort they put forth. By not accepting mediocrity and demanding that others live up to their true potential, we see better results that go on to benefit all of society, and serve as a beacon of courage and hope for others to let their best shine through as well. This applies to each of my relationships as well as all of the expectations I hold for myself.

It is important to note that William is not telling us to buy the most expensive things in life–things that will offer no real benefits to our inner selves. In the same sense, he is also not going to tell us that we should settle for less either–things of poor quality that will break, wear out, go to waste, or make us feel subpar. After all, much of what comes to us in life is a reflection of what we feel we deserve, be that the ways that other people treat us, the clothes that we can afford, or the homes that we live in. And if we truly feel that we deserve a nice home, one that we feel is worth our time and effort, then chances are that we will find one.

We will not always get the best in life–that is simply an unrealistic view. But when we expect great things, those things eventually begin to happen. And the more we do so, the more often and greater the results. The key is learning how to expect the best and beginning to believe that we actually do deserve it. And as amazing children of God, as exceptional human beings who are doing our best in all we do, we most certainly do deserve it.

Keep high expectations of yourself and others.

Questions to consider:

What do you expect out of life? Does what you get match your expectations?

How can we teach ourselves to expect better things in life? Does everything have to be the best for us to be happy?

What do you expect of yourself? The best?

For further thought:

“Nurture your mind with great thoughts, for you will never go any higher than you think.” – Benjamin Disraeli

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Filed under Commentary, Food For Thought, Living, Opinion

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