Great Expectations.

“… According to your faith will it be done to you…”
Jesus of Nazareth

Do you remember the book ‘Great Expectations’ by Charles Dickens? (If you didn't read it as a child, it is not too late). Even though life doesn't always go the way it’s written in literature novels, I will like to borrow the title for my thought this morning.

 If you've lived long enough you will realise this unspoken but very salient principle that operates in life; People receive what they expect. I am yet to see a successful person who says ‘I never dreamt of being successful’ or ‘I always expected to be a failure’, same way I haven’t met a poor man who says, “I always expected to be rich”.  I’m sure that right now you’re saying ‘Ah Kani, but every poor man has dreamt of being rich”. The truth is that every poor person has ‘wished’ they would be rich, but not ‘expected’ to be rich. There is a world of difference between expectations and wishes.

Expectation is the anticipation for something to happen: a confident belief or strong hope that particular events will happen.* A wish on the other hand, according to Oxford advanced learners dictionary, is to want something to happen or be true, even though it is unlikely or impossible.  

The active words are belief and want. There is a huge difference between a young guy who sees a really cool exotic car and says, “I wish I could own that type of car” and another who says, “I will surely own that kind of car one day”. Expectation ‘possesses’ what it desires, while wish only ‘fantasises’ about it. Expectation is backed up by diligent action geared towards bringing to pass a desired outcome. If there is no action exerted towards accomplishment, it’s not an expectation, it’s only a wish.  

You receive what you expect; good, bad or ugly. Life meets you at the level of your expectation. I know you are familiar with the ‘glass theory’; you either see the glass half full or half empty. How you choose to look at the glass is what matters, not the quantity of liquid the glass contains. When you step out of your house, what do you expect? Favours, help, opportunities, happiness…? Or do you expect; stress, oppositions, depression, failure…? What you have in life starts with what you expect from it, just like what you have in your day starts with what you expect for it.

You attract what you expect; a troublesome person attracts quarrels and discord, a peaceful person attracts calm and tranquillity. Therefore begin to expect the best for yourself, not necessarily because you deserve it, but because God loves you enough to give it to you. Some people say “please I’m a realist, I don’t do all that fantasy stuff”. Being cynical, negative and pessimistic does not equate to being realistic. Realistic says “why not me?” It is possible for someone to have a good day, why not me? If it is possible for someone to have a breakthrough in life, why won’t it be me? Optimism is the energy of the soul; it keeps you not only positive, but emotionally stable. Like Mark Twain says, “there is no sadder sight than a young pessimist”. Having great expectations keeps you alive and hopeful regardless of the challenges you are presently facing.

                                   To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary.
To one without faith, no explanation is possible
-Thomas Aquinas
*Microsoft Encarta 2009.

picture courtesy of iosphere/ 

Kanayo Aniegboka

Kani is a Nigerian born and based minister, public speaker, entrepreneur and life coach. His keen and unique perspective to life issues makes him a refreshing voice to listen to. He currently serves as the Executive Coordinator of House on the Rock - Word House and sits on the board of a number of companies.

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