“Do your expectations fuel you or deflate you?”

“Do your expectations fuel you or deflate you?”

—Chip Conley, author of Emotional Equations

Having something to look forward to is a powerful thing. It sets up our expectations and can shift our present moment attitude toward positivity and anticipation.

Notice how you feel when you look forward to:

  • A weekend
  • A vacation
  • A tasty meal
  • Time with a good friend
  • A massage or spa treatment
  • A nap or good night’s sleep

Unfortunately, negative expectations about the future can take the wind out of us just as easily. Consider these situations:

  • Career and job instability or simply a job you don’t like on a Monday morning
  • Being in poor or uncertain health
  • An impending visit to the dentist
  • A bad weather forecast


How can and will you use greater mindfulness and self-awareness to maximize your positive and minimize your negative expectations?

Practicing and applying this exercise daily can provide the fuel for a more fulfilling life.

“If you do not change directions, you may end up where you are headed.

“If you do not change directions, you may end up where you are headed.”

—Lao Tzu, ancient Chinese philosopher

Image from Unsplash by Jammie Templeton

As part of my coaching discovery process, I ask prospective clients to answer a number of questions that help them fully examine the potential value of us working together.

These questions help them expand what is working, and impact what is not. For many individuals, the following question provokes considerable interest:

What do you expect to achieve in your professional
and personal life, given your current plans, strategies,
and general direction?

Given time to explore this question fully, most people see the need to change course if they are to fully realize their highest priority goals and not end up where they are currently heading.


Consider answering this question for yourself and discussing any insights and potential actions you plan to take with a friend, colleague, mentor, family member, or coach.

Feel free to reply to this post with what value you create.

“Accept this moment as if you had chosen it.”

“Accept this moment as if you had chosen it.”

—Eckart Tolle, Author of The Power of Now

Image from Unsplash by Luke Chesser

What percentage of your day do you find yourself irritated, upset, or even angry about how things are going?

Consider your thwarted intentions and unfulfilled expectations as precursors to such feelings.

What benefit might you experience if you stopped resisting how things are and chose instead to accept and allow them to be as they are?


What people and events are occurring in your life in which acceptance would provide you the greatest value?

Inspect what you expect

“People don’t do what you expect but what you inspect.”

—Louis V. Gerstner Jr., former CEO of IBM

Image of military inspection

Image from Flickr by Jason Pier in DC

How often in your personal or professional worlds do people let you down by making, then not fulfilling, their promises?

Unfulfilled expectations are key reasons for the upsets we experience on a daily basis.

A simple yet highly effective strategy to bolster the odds of promises being fulfilled is to add accountability and direct inspection to the agreements you reach with others.

The knowledge that you or others will actually be checking up and inspecting the efforts and accompanying results almost guarantees the job gets done.


Where in either your personal or professional worlds would an “inspect what you expect” strategy dramatically improve the percentage of promises kept, and the results you desire?

Inspect what you expect

“Inspect what you expect.”

-Paul J. Meyer, Founder of the Personal Development Industry

Image from Flickr by Kate Ter Haar

Image from Flickr by Kate Ter Haar

One of the primary reasons people experience varying degrees of upset in their lives is unfulfilled expectations.

When we believe that something is supposed to happen, such as a friend or colleague making a promise on which they do not follow through, our blood can boil a bit.

If we take coaching from today’s quote, and inspect what we expect, we can often shift our expectations on the fly. This will reduce negative consequences considerably. On many occasions, the added attention we give to such matters increase the odds of our expectations being fulfilled.


How would the practice or habit of inspecting what you expect impact your personal or professional worlds for the better?

“I would like to travel..”

“I would like to travel the world with you twice. Once, to see the world. Twice, to see the way you see the world.”

—Author Unknown

Photo from Flickr by Nilanjan Sasmal

Photo from Flickr by Nilanjan Sasmal

The majority of my coaching clients would include travel as one of their core values. They want to see and experience more of the world with the precious time they have left. To some extent, they have a bit of regret that they haven’t made a bigger dent in their bucket lists.

Have you ever noticed how much joy and excitement is experienced when a baby is born?  Perhaps it is because this new life allows all of us—especially the new parents and grandparents—to start a new life “adventure” with a child who is seeing the world for the first time.


How can you be far more intentional in your efforts to see and experience the world, and at the same time, double your pleasure by looking through the eyes of those who share the adventure?

As your consciousness expands

“As your consciousness expands, your level of expectation will grow. Keep asking yourself, am I selling myself short? Most of us are.”

—John R. Spannuth, President/CEO of the USA Water Fitness Association

Image from www.mattcromwell.com

The coaching process usually helps people delve into new areas of perception, reconsidering their views of reality and what is possible. This expanded consciousness can either increase our courage to pursue new possibilities or generate fear which can make us stop, or even run in the opposite direction.


In what areas of your life are you selling yourself short due to fear?

How can you summon the courage of your expanded consciousness to foster and realize new possibilities in your professional and personal life?