Skip to main content

Expectations and Fulfillment

An important truth to remember in the coming year:

You will rarely get more than you expect. Now, there are substantial exceptions that prove the rule: in marriage, you often get much more positive than you expect; acting in faith often brings more than you expect; and sometimes other folks will surprise you.

But in two areas, realize that your expectations define the outcome.

First, in your interactions with businesses. You know why your order is wrong 75% of the time you go to McDonald’s? There are a few possibilities. One is that your order is too complex for reasonable people, like wanting a hamburger with cheese on half and two bottom buns but no onions. Seriously? Order close to the menu, man.

The second is that you are actually not ordering what you think you’re ordering. The McDouble? It’s not chicken.

But the main reason? We’ve come accept, and then expect, that even though we pay for the service of getting a meal, and even though the restaurant claims to be competent to serve it, they’ll screw it up. We’ve come to expect that the places we eat aren’t going to be clean, the stores will have less-than-friendly workers, and so forth.

And then we get what we expect. Following that up, we get grumpy when the error is “too big,” after setting a standard of “make an effort, but who cares on the results.”

This starts the cycle: a business then performs to its lowest possibility. It then performs, financially, at that level. Then, they only pay for that level of competence from their employees. Competent people then move on…or slide down to the average around them, depending on the structure.

So stop it. Stop accepting it. Don’t be a jerk about it, but be clear about your expectations, and be firm that you will not accept it. Be it with those you work for, those who work for you, or those whose services you utilize. Because here’s the deal: if you served good food, fast, in a clean environment, cheerfully, without being on your cellphone, then McD’s might be able to pay you more an hour because you’d have more customers. And certainly, that person who just came through your line won’t walk away sneering at your desire for a raise.

More than this, though, is that we need to expect more of ourselves.

It’s very easy to see how we should expect more from the people around us.

But what of ourselves? Do I expect to be putting in the work, doing the tasks?

Consider this: Do we expect from ourselves as much as we expect from others?

I’ve become convinced, in the last 2 weeks, that part of why we get so readily agitated at poor service and poor quality is not that we’re not getting what we pay for. It’s not that we deserve more or that days used to be better.

It’s that we see ourselves in the mirror of low results. It is that we haven’t put our whole heart into our work. It’s that we have reached a point that we’ll do the minimum and walk away.

So raise the level this year. Put in your best, expect more from you.

Then patiently raise the expectations around you.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: The Heart Mender by @andyandrews (Andy Andrews)

The Heart Mender: A Story of Second ChancesEver read a book that you just kind of wish is true?  That's my take on The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews.  It's a charming story of love and forgiveness, and it's woven into the historical setting of World War II America.  For the narrative alone, the book is worth the read, but the message it contains is well worth absorbing as well.However, let's drop back a minute.  This book was originally published under the title Island of Saints.  I read Island of Saints and enjoyed it greatly.  Now, Andrews has released it under a new title, with a few minor changes.  All of this is explained in the Author's Note at the beginning, but should be noted for purchaser's sake.  If you read Island of Saints, you're rereading when you read The Heart Mender.  Now, go ahead and reread it.  It will not hurt you one bit.Overall, the story is well-paced.  There are points where I'd like more detail, both in the history and the geog…

Abraham Lincoln Quoted by Jesus! Mark 3

Mark records a curious event in his third chapter (link). If you look at Mark 3:25, you'll see that Jesus quotes the sixteenth President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. After all, one of the highlights of the Lincoln years is his famous speech regarding slavery in the United States where he used the phrase that "a house divided against itself cannot stand." This speech was given in 1858 when he accepted the nomination to run against Stephen A. Douglas for Senate, but is still remembered as the defining speech regarding slaveholding in the United States. I recall being taught in school how brilliant and groundbreaking the speech was, how Lincoln had used such wise words to convey his thought. Yet the idea was not original to Lincoln. Rather, it was embedded in Lincoln from his time reading the Bible. Now, I have read varying reports about Lincoln's personal religious beliefs: some place him as a nearly completely committed Christian while others have him somewh…

Independence Day 2017

I don’t know if Thomas Paine will be aggrieved that I paste his thoughts from Common Sense here, from the electronic edition. It’s a Public Domain work at this point, so hopefully none will be bothered that I am not paying for it...I think there is value in seeing the underlying reasons of Independence. I find a couple of things noteworthy in his introduction:First, he speaks of those who disagree and, while calling those out, holds the strength of his affirmative argument will be enough to straighten them out. We could do well to think more like that.Second, his final sentence should be a required view: the influence of reason and principle. Not self-interest masquerading as principle. Not party propaganda disguised as reason.That being said, not everything Paine said is right. If he and I lived at the same time, we’d argue religion over a great deal. However, the idea of “natural rights of man” follows from the idea of humanity as a special creation—that all are created equal and en…