This year can be the 'year of your dreams' - the year of great accomplishment; the year you realize and utilize your untapped potential; the year you receive merited recognition; the year you achieve long-sought goals in your spiritual, intellectual, social, physical, financial and family life.
This year will be exciting and rewarding only if you make it so. How can you determine to make it such a year? The year will hold accomplishment, realization, and achievement only if you expect it to happen: only if you enter and LIVE EACH DAY WITH POSITIVE EXPECTANCY.
POSITIVE EXPECTANCY is the attitude you must adopt and maintain. The greatness of your accomplishments depends upon your understanding and application of the principles of positive expectancy; you must expect things to happen, and your expectations must be positive.
To illustrate the power of positive - and negative - expectancy, Norman Vincent Peale tells the story of a group of people who, at the end of one year, committed to writing their expectations for the coming year. Each person sealed his expectations in an envelope to be opened and read aloud at the end of the following year.
At the end of the year the notes were opened; the expectations of each had been fulfilled. The man who had written "All I can expect is more of the old, miserable same," received in the New Year exactly what he had expected.
A woman who had listed 10 worthy goals she expected to achieve found that 9 of the 10 goals had been accomplished.
Another man, basing his expectations upon the negative outlook for his Capricorn birth sign, predicted, "I look for difficulties and frustrations." His negative expectations were realized. A woman in the group, whose birth sign was the same, did not know she should expect difficulties and predicted a satisfying year, which had indeed come to pass.
Another man in the group had written, "As none of the men in my family have survived beyond the age of 60, therefore, I expect to die this year." The man's death occurred one month before his sixtieth birthday. Each of us receives exactly what we expect, whether our expectations are positive or negative. We can see from these examples and from the many we have met during our lives that an attitude of positive expectancy is crucial to accomplishment and personal success.
How can we plan with positive expectancy?
- First we must VIVIDLY IMAGINE.
- We must develop the faculty of seeing with our "mind's eye," of concise and clear imagining. The law of attraction that we "tend to draw to ourselves that which we send out from ourselves" cannot be broken and we must understand and exploit the tendency to become precisely what we imagine ourselves to be. The picture we hold in our minds tends to come to us.
- Second, we must ARDENTLY DESIRE.
- With the vivid imagination of our goals, our desire becomes more and more directed toward those goals. An ardent desire burning within creates in every new day an opportunity to earn and justify our rewards to develop the consciousness and habits of success; to expect dividends commensurate with our investment; to seek a challenge to climb to greater heights. We accept enthusiastically the challenge to accomplish our dreams.
- Third, we must SINCERELY BELIEVE.
- The fruition of our goals, however vividly imagined and ardently desired, depends also upon a sincere belief in our ability and worthiness to attain our goals. Speaking of the power of such belief, Benjamin Disraeli said, "Man is not the creature of circumstances. Circumstances are the creatures of men. We must understand that God has given us the power to perceive, picture, believe, struggle for, and attain good things." William James affirmed the same truth when he said, "Our belief at the beginning of a doubtful undertaking is the only thing that ensures the successful outcome of our venture.
- Fourth, we must ENTHUSIASTICALLY ACT.
- "Enthusiasm" and "action" are complementary and effective partners in bringing imagination, desire, and belief into reality.
We must plan the action that will see our goals accomplished, making use of appropriate short-range goals. We must plan for the obstacles we expect to meet and meet them as opportunities for creativity and as challenges to our desire and belief.
An important part of the power to act enthusiastically comes from the spirit of love and sharing with which we view our fellow man. The positive state of mind breeds acceptance of us and of others. In such an atmosphere of acceptance and selflessness, we soon find that the more we give, the more we are capable of giving in return. The unfailing cycle of giving and receiving reinforces our commitment to positive expectancy.
Does living with positive expectancy mean that life will be easy, free from disappointment, frustration, and difficulties? Fortunately not! The "negatives" of daily life are like obstacles to our goals: they challenge and strengthen our abilities, resolve, and understanding.
One who lives with positive expectancy knows how to turn problems into procedures, how to recognize responsibility as opportunity, and how, in adversity, to see equivalent benefit. With positive expectancy pervading our thoughts, we seek growth and welcome change.
If you and I want to live with positive expectancy, we must vividly imagine great accomplishments. We must ardently desire that this year be the best year of our lives. We must sincerely believe in our abilities and in the goodness of man and of God. We must enthusiastically act upon our own plans and seize every opportunity to achieve.
I challenge you to plan and to live this year with your thoughts and dreams filled with POSITIVE EXPECTANCY.
"The person who expects great things, makes noble plans, and daily pursues them cannot help but succeed."
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