March 16, 2007.
"If you do not the expect the unexpected you will not find it, for it is not to be reached by search or trail."
The imaginations of small children know few boundaries. If you have ever peered into the bright eyes of a small child, you have no doubt seen the wide eyed innocence they possess. They see life the way it is meant to be seen, with opportunity beckoning at every turn. And they feel life the way is was meant to be felt, full of excitement, energy and enthusiasm. Their fondest dreams feel real, their wildest fantasies spring alive right before their eyes. Nothing is beyond their grasp, nothing outside of their reach.
Their world is a beautiful place to live, where fear, hatred, stress and worry are unfamiliar terms. There are no preconceived notions, no predetermined ideas, just a wide open canvas on which to play. Their imaginations are free to run unfettered in their radiant new world, where anything and everything is readily possible. Kids expect the unexpected and are rarely disappointed.
"Life is largely a matter of expectation."
Without the day to day clutter we experience as adults to hold them down, children are free to live in a world unencumbered with limitations and boundaries of any kind. Nothing to hold them back, nothing to hold them down; nothing but the wide open spaces of their highly creative imaginations. You remember those days, don't you? Way back then, when what we now consider unbelievable was believable, the unthinkable was achievable and the impossible was plausible, we had the times of our lives. Virtually nothing was outside the realm of possibility back in our childhood days.
Now older and supposedly wiser, the unbelievable, the unthinkable and the impossible are exactly that. The ever ready ebullience and eagerness that once were our constant companions have become lost in the frenetic hustle and bustle of life's daily shuffle. Almost imperceptibly, we have gradually relinquished that childhood enthusiasm that made our youth so fun and exciting.
"The quality of expectations determines the quality of our action."
Do you ever long for those miraculous, almost magical moments when you lived out our dreams every day? Those extraordinarily amazing days when the unexpected was expected, where the best of life was there for the taking? A time when you could actually do anything you dreamed of doing, be anything you dreamed of being. With a song in your heart and a skip in your step, you had the time of your life. And you can again - if you're willing to expect the unexpected once more.
Norman Vincent Peale reminded us that anything is indeed possible when he said, "We tend to get what we expect." Some people expect a lot out of life, always looking to the horizon beyond to see what treasures await. They consistently see abundance, opportunity and adventure everywhere they look, everywhere they turn. Not surprisingly, they live their expectations as well. Then there are others who don't expect much at all and that's exactly what they get. Struggling to barely scrape by, they live a life of doing without.
"When you expect things to happen - strangely enough - they do happen."
John Pierpont Morgan
So what kind of expectations do you hold for yourself and your life? Do you typically expect a little or a lot, the best or the worst, the most or the least? Do you expect life to dish out another unexpectedly fabulous twenty four hours or just another dreary, ho-hum, nothing to get excited about day?
Instead of expecting very little, why not start expecting a lot? Rather than expecting the worst, why not expect the best life has to offer? Eileen Caddy beautifully captured the importance of great expectations when she said, "Set your sights high, the higher the better. Expect the most wonderful things to happen, not in the future but right now. Realize that nothing is too good. Allow absolutely nothing to hamper you or hold you up in any way."
Good, bad or maybe somewhere in between, the expectations we hold for ourselves in large measure dictate the speed and direction of our lives. In order to make the most of lives, we need to start expecting great things - and expecting them greatly. Instead of settling for anything less than the very best, we need to expect to succeed, expect to win and expect our lives to grow richer with each passing day.
So go ahead, dare to expect the unexpected to happen today. And then don't be surprised when it does.
The Bottom Line: By expecting the best and giving our best, the rest of our lives become the best of our lives.
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