About four years ago, before I started a tai chi class with my instructor, I thought I would give him a gift.
Twas a Furey fan favorite entitled, Expect to Win – Hate to Lose.
I didn’t think I could go wrong giving this book to my teacher.
He looks at it, pauses, then says, “You know, if I were writing this book, I would have titled it….”
He proceeded to tell me why the title wasn’t very good, in his viewpoint, and gave a couple reasons to justify his opinion.
I stood a few feet away and listened, then we walked to the center of the floor and began our lesson.
No harm – no foul, even though this was definitely not the norm for how someone responds when given a gift, especially a gift you wrote yourself.
Over the years I’ve pondered this situation a few times, especially as my thinking evolved on a number of topics, including the concept of expectation or “expecting to win.”
I’m now of the opinion that sometimes it feels as though it’s a good idea to “expect” the best – but more often than not, for many people much of the time, having high expectations leads to the worst results.
People who set big goals, who think big, who follow all the procedures and advice of so many of the self-development gurus
of this day and age, are going to be let down in a BIG way. They are going to be profoundly disappointed.
They’re not just going to be let down, however, because they can’t achieve their dreams or goals.
They most certainly can.
The let down is more a result of using self-help in the wrong way, of being misled to think you need to be unnatural to attain a big goal.
And when the unnatural actions and ideas don’t yield the results you EXPECTED, you end up feeling CRUSHED.
This is most definitely the case in sports, in career advancement, in writing, in selling, in rearing your children – and the grandbaby of them all – politics.
When you expect to win and you’re victorious – all is well in your world.
But when you expet to win and you lose – especially when you lose to someone who supposedly had no chance to beat you – you’re not only crushed – you’re probably depressed.
I’ve watched this play out in sports such as baseball so often it’s practically guaranteed to happen when you least expect it.
Two years in a row my son’s high school baseball team was ranked in the top ten in the state. In the first round of districts they faced a team with a record south of .500 – and I mean, way south.
Both years they expected to win. Both times they lost.
Uh-oh. Now what do you do?
As a result of my tai chi practice, as well as closely observing what is and isn’t true, based upon results, not pie-in-the-sky theory, I can tell you that the sequel to Expect to Win – Hate to Lose will not be…
Expect to Win – Volume Two.
Instead, it’ll be something along the lines of Expect Nothing and Achieve More.
Yet, the above assumes I’m going to write a sequel – yet, as of now, I have no expectation of doing so.
Does the above mean that I don’t believe in goals or goal setting?
What it means is I believe in goals and goal setting that is natural, that causes flow instead of fear, that causes success even
when that is not what you’re focused on.
Setting goals that scare you is NOT NATURAL.
Neither is massive action or sitting around working on changing your limiting beliefs.
There is a naturally just so to life and to living.
There is a rhythm.
When you force success you cause a blow out somewhere down the road.
When success is a natural extension of who you are – you will live the life others dream about.
As for yourself, you still have to pinch your cheek from time to time and ask, “Is this for real? Did I really do all of THIS? Unreal.”
Think of it this way, in baseball, if you approached your pitcher before a big game and told him you expected him to throw a no-hitter, or a perfect game – you would most assuredly screw him up.
The same would happen to the golfer whom you told to hit a hole in one as he was teeing off.
But if you focus this athlete on the small – he may surprise himself and win it all.
P.S. For coaching opportunities – go here…