“The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.”
“Expectancy is the atmosphere for miracles.”
Edwin Louis Cole
Make a decision to be successful and live in expectancy of it.
The Pygmalion effect is a phenomenon where the greater the expectation placed upon a person, the better he or she performs. In 1968, Robert Rosenthal and Lenore Jacobson performed an experiment where they gave every student in a single California elementary school a disguised IQ test without disclosing the scores to the school’s teachers. The teachers were told that some of their students (about 20% of the school chosen at random) could be expected to be “spurters” that year, doing better than expected in comparison to their classmates. In reality, these spurters had the same or lower IQs than the other students. The spurters names were made known to the teachers. At the end of the study, every student was again tested with the same IQ test. The result: the spurters showed large gains compared to everyone else, even though their initial IQ scores were the same or lower. Rosenthal and Jacobson concluded that merely increasing expectations can dramatically influence motivation and enhance achievement.
Bring yourself closer to achieving your goal by actively deciding to increase your expectations. Once you decide on a goal, you need to decide to achieve it. This means you must increase your expectations. In other words, you have to expect to achieve your goal. Living with expectancy is very different than hoping and dreaming for something to come true. Expectancy requires a much higher level of commitment and emotion. You have to really, truly believe that you are going to achieve your goal and fulfill your purpose in life. And this belief has to be backed with irresistible intensity. You will not fail. There is no other option. This is the mountain you will die on. The fastest and most effective way to create this kind of intensity is by superimposition.
Narrow Your Mind
Superimpose the passion you have for a long-held conviction onto your new belief. A decision to achieve a new goal creates a new belief – the belief that you can achieve it. Next, you need to turn your new belief into a powerful conviction that shouts: you will achieve it. A real conviction will make you feel as though you already have your goal in hand. Right now. As if tightening your grip is all that’s left to do. You can create this feeling by taking the intense emotions you feel for a conviction that is already present in your life and superimposing these emotions onto your new belief.
Believe you are going to achieve your goal with the same intensity that you believe in your political and religious viewpoints. Most people’s strongest convictions fall in the realm of religion and politics. People with these kinds of convictions spend their lives finding new ways to back up their beliefs. Consider you or someone you know who believes without a shadow of a doubt that something is true. This person probably spends his or her entire life finding things to back up this belief while refusing to entertain alternative viewpoints for very long, if at all. Voilà. That’s exactly what you need to do to turn your decision into a conviction. Think of your strongest conviction, the one belief that you know in your heart is true. Really let yourself feel it. Once you have a feeling for it, apply that feeling toward your new goal. Superimpose those exact emotions onto your new purpose in life.
Celebrate The Win
Strengthen and maintain your conviction by building references and consistently validating yourself. Once you’ve turned your vision into a conviction, seek out all of the information you can find on why you are capable of achieving your goal and why you absolutely will achieve your goal. Generate confidence and align your internal influences by asking yourself the following questions: “What have I done in the past that’s already prepared me for fulfilling my new purpose in life?,” “What can I learn or do, right now, to bring me closer to fulfilling my purpose?,” “Who can I talk to?,” and “What actions can I take?”
Savor every win. Understand: inspiration is perishable. You need to find ways to enjoy life, increase happiness, and motivate yourself daily. Otherwise, your conviction will atrophy. Stop waiting for the world around you to take notice and start validating your own victories. At the end of each day, review your accomplishments and acknowledge that you are one day closer to achieving your goal. Set small, medium, and large benchmarks so you always have something to celebrate.
Your battle scars are invisible to everyone else. Most of the time, even when you accomplish something worthwhile, no one will notice. Your biggest victories in life probably won’t look like the last scene of the movie Rudy where Rudy Rudiger is carried off the Notre Dame football field with thousands of people chanting his name. Instead, they will look like the last scene of The Pursuit of Happyness, when Chris Gardner is offered the paid position at the brokerage firm and quietly claps his hands to himself outside in the street. In a single moment, Gardner goes from being broke and living on the streets to making money and having leadership influence, and no one knows it.
The obstacle is the path. On your way to achieving your goal, no one will know just how hard you are working. No one can possibly peer into your mind, body, and soul to understand how much you’ve sacrificed for your vision. So stop expecting them too. Progress is your only victory. Make sure you celebrate it. In my next post, I will discuss the 10,000 hour rule and how to break it.