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What do you think?

When my daughter Breanna was very young, her mother and I started a tradition called "Surprise Monday." We did this because it seems the world hates Mondays, and we wanted our daughter to not be brought down by the negativity. Surprise Monday could have been as simple as a new pencil, or a coloring book. It wasn't so much about the item; it was about the expectation. Her looking forward to Monday was the goal. To this day, Bree loves Monday and has continued the tradition with her daughters.

The word expectation comes from the Latin word expectationem, meaning "an awaiting." If you have great expectations, then you think something good will come your way, but if you keep your expectations low, you won't risk being disappointed.

Expectations are more than fleeing thoughts, they are based on your deeper beliefs. What do you believe you deserve? Do you believe you deserve to be successful? Do you believe you deserve to have nice things? Do you believe in being nice to people and treating them with kindness? Do you believe others do the same? Your beliefs form your expectations, and your expectations become your reality.

"That client will never buy."

"I can't ask them to spend that much, they'll get mad."

"Another cancellation; this always happens to me."

"That person is always rude."

Those are all beliefs that are expressed as expectations.

One of the greatest gifts my mentor Bill Mann ever gave me was to enroll me in a program with Lou Tice of the Pacific Institute. Lou is no longer with us, but his groundbreaking work on the power of ensuring your beliefs and your expectations are consistent with what you want to accomplish lives on. (I still have my cassette case box, and Bill and I still quote Lou.) You don't get what you want in life; you get what you expect. And your expectations come from your beliefs.

Bill told me very early in my career, "Jeffrey, there isn't a problem you can't overcome, a challenge you can't get past. The biggest obstacle you will face in your career is the noise between your ears." Bill believed in me and challenged me to control my self-talk.

Most people don't think about what they think about.

Did you ever think about that?

Jeff Schmidt is the SVP of Professional Development. You can reach him at Jeff.Schmidt@RAB.com. You can all so connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Source: Jeff Schmidt, SVP of Professional Development, RAB