"Your expectations opens or closes the doors of your supply, If you expect grand things, and work honestly for them, they will come to you, your supply will correspond with your expectation"

– Orison Swett Marden

Expectation is a high anticipation or probability of something happening in the future. What kind of future do you anticipate for yourself?  What role are you expecting to play in making the world a better place than it is?

 Have you positioned yourself to be relevant in the emerging world? What kind of impact do you plan to have on this generation?  These and other myriad of questions you need to ask yourself if you are going to be significant in the emerging future.

One of the chief reasons why most people don’t fulfill their dreams, goals, and plans in life is, they have no or low expectation of themselves in life.

They avoid dreaming or dreaming big because they are afraid of failure or to be disappointed if their dreams do not come to fruition.

Author , Ralph Charell believes  "Nobody succeeds beyond his or her wildest expectations unless he or she begins with some wild expectations."

People who have low expectations of themselves tend to play life too safe and detest any discomfort, change, or uncertainties but sometimes failure, discomfort, and uncertainties are the tuition we pay for success on a higher level.  American  author and motivational speaker, Les Brown declared, “You can get out of life alive!” In other words, whether you play it safe or risk it; you would still 'get out of life' — die.

Reminiscing, as a little boy at the age of about 5 years my beloved mother would occasionally promise me , “when you grow up, I would send you abroad to study.” Though she made this pronouncements out of personal conviction and expectation with virtually no funds to back her claim.

As simple as this statement seemed, it served as a seed of great expectation and a barometer for the achievements in my academics and implicitly elevated my hopes far beyond my geographical location, resources, and abilities.

The day my hope to study abroad came to fruition, I knew within the depth of my heart that my mother's words has been the catalyst for my success.  Though she wasn't able to contribute financially, I was convinced beyond any shred of  doubt that her words had set the standards of high expectation, values, and discipline in my life which ended up informing my decisions and directing my attitude in life.

American lawyer, businessman, politician , and former  Mayor of New York City, Rudolph William Louis "Rudy" Giuliani , testified to the courage and conviction  needed in setting expectations for one’s life, by saying, “When I said the city would be stronger, I didn't know that. I just hoped it. There are parts of you that say, 'Maybe we're not going to get through this.' You don't listen to them.”

At times, the reality of  your situation may not reflect the enormity of your expectation but you still have to learn to trust your spirit than your mind.

Expectation is one of the powerful cognitive  tools God gave to human beings; it is the comrade of faith and the sibling of imagination. You can’t have faith without expectation; neither can you have a good imagination without expectation.

Expectation is the ability to place a demand on your gifts, calling, dreams, and natural endowment till it materializes.

Former NFL player, Ralph Fulsom Marston said, “Don't lower your expectations to meet your performance. Raise your level of performance to meet your expectations. Expect the best of yourself, and then do what is necessary to make it a reality.”

The story of a young inner–city Detroit boy, Bennie who emerged from the grip of abject poverty, single parenthood, and slum life to become an avatar of excellence, diligence, and passion in life illustrates the efficacy of expectation.                               

Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, with his mother Sonya dropping out of school in the third grade, and married when she was only 13. At the age of eight, his parents divorced, and his mum was left to raise Bennie and his older brother Curtis on her own. She managed to hold down two jobs, occasionally three just to fend for her family.

In spite of the constant appeal and pressure from friends, neighbors, and family members to seek social assistance for her family, she refused to fall on the social system for any help because she wanted to set higher expectations for her two boys.    

In his book, Gifted Hands, Bennie reminisced about her mother always coming back from one of her jobs where she cleaned the house of a wealthy family by saying, “This is what wealthy people do. This is how successful people behave. Here’s how they think. Now you boys can do it too and you can do it better!” Saying  all this with a smile.

Sonya started instilling values, disciplines, rules, and attitudes that would cultivate the mindset of successful people in her boys. Bennie was considered the dumbest kid in his class and was oftentimes scorned by his classmates; calling him “dummy.” 

Noticing  that her kids were falling behind in their respective classes at school due to too much social activities and television watching, she one day came back from work and laid some strict rules by declaring, “ I’ve        decided you boys are watching too much television, from now on, you boys can watch no more than three programs a week.”

In the words of Bennie, “Despite our protests, we knew that when she decided we couldn’t watch unlimited television, she meant it.” 

Sonya instructed Bennie and Curtis to read at least two books each week from the Detroit Public Library. They were also required to write book reports, which Sonya would examine and mark up.

In an interview with David Gergen of PBS, Bennie admitted that, “after a while, something happened. I began to actually enjoy reading the books…. I could go anywhere in the world, be anybody, do anything. You know my imagination began to run wild.”

As a little boy, Bennie had a dream of becoming a doctor, a missionary doctor. One day at church service, reports came to the congregants  of the physical suffering  doctors in villages in some parts of Africa and India and how they helped people to live happier and healthier lives.

On their way home, Bennie disclosed his passion of becoming a doctor to her mother by saying, “that’s what I want to do; I want to become a doctor. Can I become a doctor, mother?” “Bennie, listen to me,” said Sonya as she stared into the eyes of Bennie, she added, “If you ask the Lord for something and believe He will do it, then it’ll happen.”

Bennie replied, “I believe I can be a doctor,” and Sonya said, “then Bennie, you will be a doctor.”

Sonya, in spite of her pinching poverty had a fixed determination to make her life a credit to herself and a blessing to her two boys by taking the high road in life by setting higher standards and expectations for her kids. Her sheer determination, faith in God, and diligence, saw her two boys through university and graduate school.                                   

Benjamin Solomon Carson who was once considered the dumbest kid in his class, graduated with honors from his high school, attended Yale University, earned a degree in Psychology, proceeded to Medical School of the University of Michigan, where his interest shifted from psychiatry to neurosurgery.

In 1987, Benjamin Solomon Carson “the dummy” made medical history by separating a pair of Siamese twins, twins with their head at the back.

Operations to separate twins joined in this way had always failed but Bennie is the one who led a team of neurosurgeon to conduct this medical procedure successfully. 

Dr. Ben Carson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States by President George W. Bush in 2008.

In the end, Bennie set a high expectation for us by concluding that, “You can do anything that anyone can do only you can do it better.” 

Expectation is the best chance of getting the best  out of life. Richard M. DeVos said," Life… It tends to respond to our outlook, to shape itself to meet our expectations." When you have expectations in life, you are simply carrying a seed in your spirit or body that is why pregnant women are called expectant mothers. They are carrying seeds in their belly which requires certain peculiar attitudes and lifestyles compared to ordinary women.

So it is with anyone who is carrying a dream, gift, calling, or an ability.

When someone successfully delivers their dreams, visions, gifts, purpose, or abilities, it is termed “Brain Child.”

The following suggestions are some attitudes and routines of expectant mothers which is also applicable to expectation in life:

FEED THE SEED – Expecting mothers take in food of good nutritious value to the seed in them as well as vitamins and minerals. Both the expecting mother and seed need plenty of vitamins and nutrients during the period of expectancy.

Like a seed in a womb, if you fail to take proper care of what you’re carrying in your spirit, it gradually becomes undernourished and eventually dies.

You’ve to make a conscious choice to feed and grow your gifts, talent, abilities, and dreams daily either by reading books, listening or watching tapes, attending conferences and seminars, etc. Failure to engage in any of the above practices daily would stifle  the gift, talent or dream you carry.

TALK TO THE EXPECTANT – This point is very essential especially if you are a first time expecting fellow . In the developed nations, focused groups and classes are usually formed to assist expecting mothers to deal with issues that may arise before, during and after the expecting season.

Seminar and classes sections are held to enlighten the expectant mothers on how to navigate successfully through the expecting period. In the underdeveloped nations, often times expecting mothers talk to each other to share information or experience either in their present or previous pregnancies.

Furthermore, these women in the undeveloped nations draw from a vast pool of information and experience from older women and mothers. Ideally, the kind of seed you’re carrying determines the person you hang around with.

For instance, if you are carrying twins you can’t hang around people carrying one child because they have no information or experience about twins. If your expectation in life is colossal, you don't hang out with people with little expectation. Learn to hang around like-minded people or individuals who will stretch your horizon in life.

TALK ABOUT THE SEED – You would be surprised to see expecting mothers talking to their babies in the womb though the babies are not visible. The conversation of an expectant mother also changes and mostly revolves around the coming baby.

In other words, the expecting mother becomes obsess with the baby and nothing else. Medical research has proven that baby in the womb can hear any sound or speech outside the womb and even medical doctors encourage expecting mothers to talk or sing to the seeds in the womb.

They also warn that any negative activity, speech, or behaviors outside of the womb may affect the child even before he/she is born. How true this principle is in dreams and visions? When you are carrying a “brain child,” you have to talk to the child daily by confessing positively to it as well as being obsessed about the dream and nothing else.

All of your conversations and activities should revolve around your vision. Furthermore, be mindful of what you and other people say or profess about your aspirations, hope , and plans.

As you go through life, bear in mind that  your present  economic  circumstances may not match your dreams but with a good expectation , you can become what you expect .  "To achieve any aim in life, you need to project the end-result. Think of the elation, the satisfaction, the joy! Carrying the ecstatic feeling will bring the desired goal into view," Grace Speare.

Go ahead today, set high expectation for your life and i promise you before long your wildest expectation will become a reality. As a student, a professional , an entrepreneur, a parent, or whoever you are, expect more than others think possible, resolve to put in all that it takes and watch your dreams come to its  fulfillment.

Dr Otchere-Asamoah is an Inspirational Speaker, Psychotherapist, Author and Entrepreneur.