Everybody gets high on something. It could be alcohol, drugs or something that helps you escape the harsh realities of the present. I won’t lie. It feels good anytime I do it. When I get intoxicated with the rushing and gushing of blood through my blood vessels and the surge of adrenaline kickstarts my heart. I feel more alive than I have ever been in that moment of highness. What I have or don’t have doesn’t matter, just what I want to be.
I love to get high and it’s not on drugs or alcohol. When I mentioned getting high I meant on something more powerful with a lasting effect…expectations. I love to get high on expectations. It’s an addiction but ironically I am not battling it. I willfully let it take control and consume me. I am often called a dreamer because of this. But it doesn’t matter because the thought of a better version of me supersedes the opinions of the grounded minds around me.
Before, I used to think high expectations were counter-productive. They take you high up to this unrealistic place without oxygen and leave you to suffocate. So instead of allowing my expectations to fuel my passion for the things I did, I left them in the hands of reality.
It has been said that happiness equals reality divided by expectations. If our reality is higher than how we expect life to be, then we’re likely to feel unhappy or discontent. This formula, therefore suggests that our reality needs to be equally balanced with our expectations. The more we can get them in balance, then the happier, more content, accepting or peaceful, we are likely to be.
There was a famous research study conducted by a Harvard professor named Robert Rosenthal. In this study, a group of 18 elementary school teachers gave their students a special test that Rosenthal put together. The test predicted which children were primed for a boost in IQ over the next few years. The catch, of course, was that it was not a special test at all. It was just a general IQ test with a fancy sounding name, but the teachers didn’t know this.
Once the results came back, Rosenthal picked a random group of students from each classroom. He told the teachers that these students were “bloomers” that were predicted to blossom into brilliant students.
In reality, there was nothing different about these students from their peers. A few months later, the students were given another IQ test. The results were astounding. Students who were labeled as “bloomers” (even though they were simply average students) scored significantly higher on IQ tests than their peers.
Why did this happen? Simple. When a teacher treated a student as if they were destined to become smart (even if they were average to start with), the student became smart. This above reveals the power that high expectations can have on our lives.
When we treat man as he is, we make him worse than he is; when we treat him as if he already were what he potentially could be, we make him what he should be.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
However, a finding of note is that the high expectations of the teacher made a big difference for young students, but not for older ones. In other words, as you age, the expectations that others have for you become less important and the expectations that you have for yourself become more important.
Altogether our expectations shrink to what is captured in economics as the Rational Expectations Theory. It is an economic idea that the people make choices based on their rational outlook, available information and past experiences. But in the words of Kirk Franklin in his song ‘Today,’ “If what you see is all you see then you will miss so much more.”
Most people settle for very average goals because it’s “reasonable.” The problem with this is that it creates a lot of competition for things that aren’t really worth fighting over. In other words, everyone is battling to achieve mediocre results. ( Bank jobs…no offence)
Expectations are somewhat like faith. If I be bold enough, I will call it faith. It doesn’t depend on what is, but what can be. You can choose greatness for your life by creating it first in your mind. What the mind can conceive, the hands can achieve.
According to my life-plan, I should be owning a Mercedes coupe in Europe pursuing my master degree on the fast-track to becoming a millionaire before I turn 30. Simply because these goals haven’t been achieved doesn’t mean they won’t be achieved. It’s very hard to fail completely if you aim high enough.
On the other hand, it is very easy to feel like a failure, even if you are much better than you were at the start. The balance that you need is a combination of appreciation and achievement. When you reach for high goals, you can’t be depressed when you only make it halfway for this is often farther than you would have made it if you had set your sights lower, to begin with.
If you don’t think that anyone expects great things of you, then I’m here to tell you that I do. But all this doesn’t matter except this one question, “What are you expecting for yourself?”
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.(Hebrews 11:1)