So what do you expect?

Here it is, the middle of January and I haven’t  set my goals for the year. Didn’t feel like it yet.

My son suggested that I listen to last week’s This American Life Podcast, entitled Batman. They asked: “Can thoughts influence a rat’s behaviour?” It turns out that yes, whether scientists believe their rats are smart or not directly influences their ability to perform tasks.

So of course the next thought is how does that apply to people? They explored in detail Daniel Kish, a man who lost his site as a toddler and how he uses clicks to navigate and do most things that sited folks do. Just search “blind guy who rides a bike” on YouTube to see him for yourself.

But can he actually “see”? A German neuroscientist, explained that images are not external but created in the visual cortex of the brain. She discovered that for Daniel and others who have trained themselves to click, their visual cortex lights up when they use clicking to identify objects in their environment.

It is similar to the peripheral vision you might have when you are walking down the street, texting on your smart phone. You can vaguely see traffic and people around you, but not be able to read signs.

Cool, eh? But how did he manage this, when millions of other blind people are much more dependent on others? It turns out that as a young child, he was not subject to the usual restrictions placed on blind kids. Nobody stopped him when he tried to do things and he developed the clicking methodology (similar to the echolocation used by bats – hence the Batman appellation).

I had a conversation at brunch with friends last week about their worry about their university student son’s lack of social skills and how they are petrified that his life could out badly. I was shocked and asked if they were aware of how their fears were probably communicated to their son? And how this expectation might actually help create the result they most fear?

And then I thought of my expectations on my grownup sons. One I expect to be thoughtful and easy to communicate with. The other is volatile, impatient and hard to get along with. (Yes it’s painful to expose my beliefs about my kids.) And of course I KNOW they are both incredibly intelligent. (They are Jewish after all — cultural expectation – we think our kids are geniuses.) Have I programmed them this way with my expectations?

And what about me? For many years I have expected that I will be “almost” successful. I only recently became aware of this belief/expectation. I’m not sure where it came from —- but it’s possible that I picked it up from expectations in my environment.

So what?

We can be influenced by the expectations aimed at us. From my work with Motivation Triggers, we are External, (affected by factors outside of our body/mind). At least at certain times and places in our lives.

Why, just this morning I listened to the American Life podcast and was inspired to write this piece. It inspired me. And inspired me to really think about what I could do, if I expected great things of myself.

I think I’ll hold that thought for a day inside me. Feel it, see it, hear it, touch, taste and smell it. I expect that I will do great things. This year. Starting now.

What if you surrounded yourself by people and thoughts that are inspiring?
Would that change how you feel and what you accomplish?
Well, there’s only one way to find out!

Please let me know what happens!



6 thoughts on “So what do you expect?

  1. Nicole Savoie

    Words do change minds and thoughts even more…Think and grow Rich like Napoleon Hill said… Earl Nightingale…Strangest secret…Our expectations of ourselves and of others especially our children our parents (LOL!) are reflected in how we behave towards them… I am expecting the best… out of them according to who they are and I think they are doing just that. And as a boomerang I expect the best of myself – expansion and evolution is ‘always’ the way to go no matter how ‘unsustainable’ it may sometimes appear to be!

  2. Pauline Duncan-Thrasher

    Thanks Shelle for as always inspiring with clarity. I’ve recently purchased a brilliant Life &Biz Workbook by an Australian lady named Leonie Dawson- lots of spaces for writing goals as well as reflections, plans and commitments. You are right about expectations that can blind us to realities. Or we can open to possibilities and work the best plans we can determine. Positively! Pauline

  3. ann perrin

    Loved that email, think I really got started with the new year yesterday, found myself writing a new poem simply by just letting it happen on the page.
    I often find inspirational people in unexpected places, like the girl waiting like me for ages in the bank for an appointment the other day. Her soul mate threw himself under a train in September. But she has set up a Legacy fund in his name to support troubled youngsters.
    She sat with this adorable little boy and lives in a tiny studio flat. Apparently she was arrested for letting her child off his reigns in the High Street last week. A do gooder reported her for playing peep po for all of five minutes. Luckily CCT proved the truth of the matter.
    Read recently poets need to live in the real world rather than just write. Agree!
    My partner, family, garden, the sea, my tiny allotment, youtube, my blog and piles of books keep me grounded as well as inspired.
    However you and Natalie Goldberg are my longest term inspirations. Loved the time I met you in London talking about slimming with a hysterical video. Love Natalie’s latest book prompting memoir.
    Your son sounds wonderful. My oldest son at 51 tomorrow, my youngest 50 in March, both independently changing their lives completely! One grandchildren is off to Japan in April another busy at uni doing pharmacy.
    Now I am older, wiser and financially stable hopefully. I am better at taking one day at a time. Oh and my favourite book is still Alice in Wonderland. Best Wishes Ann

    1. Shelle Rose Charvet Post author

      Hi Ann,
      Thanks so much for your comments. Life is certainly not a straight line.

  4. Noé

    Shelle, thanks. Until today I didn’t set goals to 2015 too! Your message inspired me to see the things more clearly – and who lives in Brazil MUST cope with hard things as corrupt government and low security in the streets or sky high taxes and prices, and even so MUST SEE long run goals to get them met. Without that I don’t know how people maintain hope and gratitude. Thank you, again.


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