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What Would You Do With Unlimited Resources?

Have you ever wanted to do something, but discouraged yourself because you believed you lacked the necessary resources to be successful? They might include a lack of sufficient time, money, education, support, or experience. Interestingly, a lack of resources is rarely an issue if you’re truly committed! Avoid allowing a current lack of resources discourage you.

It’s easy to get started on any venture without any resources. In time, resources can be found when needed. Even the largest businesses had humble beginnings.

Consider the power of believing you have unlimited resources:

1. What would you choose to accomplish if you had unlimited resources? Take a few minutes to consider how you would live your life if you had everything you needed. Would you go back to school? Start your own company? Become a philanthropist? Own an island? It’s easy to see that your options are unlimited. Think big.

* This can be an excellent way to determine your life’s purpose. If all obstacles were removed, what would you choose to do?

2. Whom would you have in your life? Would you be alone or married? How many friends would you have? Describe your friends. Describe your neighbors. How many children would you have? If you dream of owning your own business, describe your employees and clients.

3. Where would you live? Would you stay put or move to the beach? How many homes would you own? What color would your dining room be? Consider the geographical location and the actual dwelling. There are hundreds of castles for sale at any time. You’ll need a butler, though.

4. What would your typical day entail? What time would you get out of bed? What would you do first? How would you spend your day? How would your evening be spent? How much free time would you have and how would you spend it? Whom would you see? Would you play golf every Thursday? Would you race cars on the weekend?

5. Now that you know what you should be doing, how can you make it happen? Few of us have a surplus of resources, but there is always a first step that can be taken.

* The first step might entail looking at the educational offerings in your area or seeking a higher-paying job. Maybe it’s finally time to take the drum lessons you thought were silly. There’s still time to be a rock star.

* As you progress, your understanding and your resources will grow. Warren Buffett started with a paper route. Now he’s frequently listed as the richest man in the world. You can probably get a better start than a paper route, and your dreams are likely smaller. Consider that.

6. Pretending you have unlimited resources can also be used to find solutions to challenges. By imagining you have unlimited resources, you can open your mind to all the possible solutions. It’s possible you’ll find a solution that requires additional resources, but give yourself a chance to make it work.

Those with unlimited resources can still struggle, so having unlimited resources isn’t a guarantee. Avoid believing that abundant resources are a cure to your struggles. Remember that many of the most successful people in the world started at the very bottom with no resources.

You probably don’t have unlimited resources. However, supposing that you have unlimited resources can help to determine your life’s purpose, your dream existence, and create a new set of solutions. Imagining that your resources are plentiful will open new possibilities.

You’re limiting yourself right now. What would you do with unlimited resources?

Top 10 Ways to Maintain Perspective During Challenging Times

How well do you handle challenges? With the right perspective, any situation can be handled effectively and with minimal drama. Learning to direct your thoughts and attention are valuable assets in troubling times.

Maintaining a positive attitude provides the best opportunity to find a solution. If you’re forced to deal with a negative situation, why not do it with a smile?

Use these strategies to keep a level head when everything is going wrong:

1. Find a way to learn from the challenge. Challenging times can be excellent learning opportunities. There’s a lesson in there somewhere, but you must look for it. At the very least, ask yourself how you can prevent a similar situation from happening again. Imagine how great life would be if you never repeated the same mistake twice.

2. Be accurate. When something goes wrong, we often jump ten steps ahead and foresee the worst possible outcome. Avoid letting your emotions get the best of you. Be objective while analyzing the situation.

3. Ask yourself what you can do about it. Then listen to the answers you receive. Stay focused on solutions and avoid dwelling on the problems. Do you think it would be more effective to spend 90% of your time solving the situation or 90% of your time worrying?

4. Go for a run. Any form of exercise will do. Exercise can put that excess physical and mental energy to work. If you’re feeling stressed, some vigorous exercise will help. Most importantly, take care of yourself. Even during stressful times, it’s important to eat properly and to get enough sleep.

5. Maintain a positive attitude. Focus on the positive aspects of your life. One challenging situation doesn’t negate all the good things in life. Make a list of the many things that create a sense of gratitude in your life.

* By focusing on the positive, the negative will hold less power over you. The good feelings you generate will increase your ability to overcome the situation.

6. Realize that the situation is temporary. You’ve had many challenging times in your life, but you’ve survived all of them. It’s often surprising how much a situation can change in just a couple of days, weeks, or months. Just hang on and you’ll come out on the other side before you know it.

7. Help someone else. Helping others is an effective way to maintain a healthy perspective. There are people all over the world that would gladly trade their best day for your worst. Put your attention on helping someone else. You’ll feel much better and come to the conclusion that things aren’t really that bad.

8. Ask for help. There’s no reason to face the world alone. There are many people in your life that would be happy to provide a helping hand. All you have to do is ask. Wouldn’t you help someone if asked?

9. Find the advantage. Perhaps there’s a silver lining to your situation. If you look hard enough, the challenging situation might provide a huge advantage. You’re unlikely to find it if you don’t look.

10. Visualize a positive outcome. In many respects, you get what you expect. Take a few minutes each day and visualize a highly positive outcome. Expecting the worst can have negative consequences.

Your perspective can make all the difference. A negative outlook can make finding a solution much less likely. Use every tool at your disposal and keep your wits about you. Remember that the circumstances will eventually pass. Do your part to ensure they pass as quickly and smoothly as possible.

The Power of Raising Your Standards

Mike Ditka, the great football coach of the Chicago Bears, has often said, “You get what you tolerate.” If your life is less than you’d like it to be, it’s possible your standards are too low. One of the reasons Donald Trump makes so much money is that only making $1 million per year is totally unacceptable to him.

Are you comfortable with only making $50k or being 20 lbs. overweight? If you don’t raise your standards, you’re stuck. Are you okay with marrying someone that hits you a few times a year and verbally abuses you the rest of the time? What is the outcome of that standard?

You’re likely to end up with whatever is acceptable to you and little more.

Raise your standards and enrich your life:

1. Your standards determine the lower level of what’s acceptable to you. What’s the least you’re willing to accept in your life? What do you really want? You won’t sink below your standards, but you won’t rise too far above them either. When your standards have been violated, you’ll get busy in a hurry to change your situation.

2. You can raise your standards at any time. Your standards are entirely up to you. You have the right to thrive. You weren’t put on the planet to just exist and scrape by. Determine your own destiny.

3. Your most important standards deal with your own conduct. Are you willing to tolerate being late again? Procrastination? Letting your family down? Not speaking up for yourself? Making changes in this area will have the greatest impact because all aspects of your life are influenced. Become a more effective person by raising your expectations of your behavior.

4. Determine a standard you’re committed to raising. Perhaps you’d like to make more money or take more calculated risks in life. What would impact your life the most? How would your behavior change if you adopted that new standard?

5. Visualize success in that area. Imagine yourself in that high-paying job or enjoying time with better friends. Focus on the feeling it generates. That feeling will draw you to your new standards like a magnet.

6. Take aggressive action. You’ll know when your new standards have taken hold because your behavior will change. If you’re still stuck, your standards haven’t changed enough.

7. See your new standard as a fundamental shift, rather than as a goal. See yourself as the person that makes health a priority. This is much more powerful than having a goal of losing 25 lbs. When you change who you are, many of your results will change, too.

8. Recognize when you’re living up to your new standards. If you’re trying to save more money, make note of all the times you’re behaving congruently. You might buy less expensive food at the store, skip your morning latte, or carpool to work. Point out your progress to yourself and feel excited.

9. Consider what could happen if you fail to live up to your new standards. Keeping with the money-saving example, you might not be able to pay your bills on time or you might have to work at 65 instead of retiring. Make a list and understand the pain you face if you don’t stay on track.

Tony Robbins has said that raising his standards was the most important factor in turning his life around. It’s important to set a baseline for what you’re willing to accept in life. You don’t get what you want in life, you get what you’re willing to tolerate. Have high standards and your life will rise to meet them.

The A to Z Guide to Becoming More Optimistic

Studies show that optimists live longer, achieve more, and enjoy greater happiness and health. Even if you tend to see the glass as half empty, you can tap into these advantages.

Psychologists believe that about 50% of your optimist quotient is determined at birth. That leaves the remaining 50% that you can work on. Train yourself to become more hopeful. You can complete most of these steps instantly, and a few require a little more time.

Instant Changes for Becoming More Optimistic

1. Wear a smile. Your facial muscles communicate with your brain. Putting on a smile will make you look and feel more cheerful.

2. Create a distraction. When you find yourself dwelling on the size of your thighs or how slowly traffic is moving, switch your attention to something more entertaining. Sing show tunes or remember romantic moments with your spouse.

3. Study your dog. Most dogs will keep returning to the spot on the sidewalk where they found a burger wrapper last June. Let your best friend inspire you to hold on to your dreams.

4. Count your blessings. Gratitude reinforces optimism. Wake up each morning thinking about what you’re thankful for. Write a gratitude list and post it near your desk where you can see it all day.

5. Challenge your assumptions. Transform your self-talk by arguing the opposing side when you start to criticize yourself. Remember to run a reality check because unpleasant events tend to make a stronger impression than positive ones. The day your hot water heater broke stands out more than all the years it worked fine.

6. Build on your strengths. Studies also show that using your core strengths will cause you to view your future more favorably. If your friends rave about your watercolors, enter a group exhibition. Apply your aptitude with numbers to tutoring children in math.

7. Focus on solutions. Put your energy into overcoming challenges rather than catastrophizing about how much can go wrong. Needing a new car transmission will seem less overwhelming when you take your first steps to find a mechanic and adjust your budget to cover the bills.

8. Exercise daily. Physical activity is good for your mind as well as your body. A vigorous workout will brighten your outlook. Play competitive sports or sign up for a dance class.

9. Practice mindfulness. Trying to make yourself happier tends to backfire, but there is a better way. Engage fully with whatever you’re doing. As you increase your awareness and act from your heart, even tedious tasks become more meaningful and rewarding.

Longer-Term Changes for Becoming More Optimistic

1. Marry an optimist. Hope is contagious. An idealistic spouse sets a good example and encourages harmony. If neither of you is optimistic, you and your partner can work on becoming more optimistic together and find friends who will be good role models.

2. Adjust your explanatory style. When optimists receive disappointing news, they usually view it as temporary and attribute it to external causes. Lighten up if you’re taking the weather personally and remember the rain will end. It’s good to hold yourself accountable for behavior you can change, but avoid beating yourself up.

3. Plan ahead. Feeling in control also helps to boost optimism. Clarify your goals and strategies to makes it easier to anticipate obstacles and persevere. As your successes add up, the process will become more automatic.

Wear rose-colored glasses and walk on the sunny side of the street. Being more optimistic is likely to extend your life and help you to enjoy those extra years more.

Living Braver Made Easy

The cowardly lion isn’t the only one who wonders what their life would be like if they had more courage. Imagine standing up for your convictions and taking risks to go after the things that are important to you.

There are two major schools of thought about courage. You might act boldly because you are fearless. On the other hand, you might feel anxious, but forge ahead anyway because you decide that the rewards are worth it.

Either way, courage is a skill that you can cultivate. Use this 3-step plan to conquer your doubts and face the things that scare you.

Build up Your Faith

1. Value yourself. Know that you’re worthwhile. Bravery comes down to making yourself vulnerable because the rewards justify taking the risk. Ask yourself how far you’ll go to live out your dreams.

2. Call on your strengths. Believe in your abilities. Reflect on your past accomplishments and understand your potential.

3. Connect with the divine. Reach out to something bigger than yourself. Set aside time each day for prayer and meditation. Discover what your faith tradition teaches about the nature of courage.

Team up With Others

1. Look for partners. We’re more powerful when we act together. Surround yourself with friends and allies who share your aspirations. Put together a team that complements each other’s abilities. Be a collaborative leader who engages others and encourages innovation.

2. Select inspiring role models. It’s good to have heroes. Find a mentor who has the qualities you want to possess. It may be your college professor or a character in your favorite novel.

3. Share moral support. Sometimes the most valuable things we give each other are intangible. Empathize with your friend when she is struggling to start dating again after a divorce. Be thankful when she validates you the next time you’re steeling yourself for a sensitive conversation with your teenage son.

Practice Your Skills

1. Distinguish between feelings and actions. We usually need to act if we want our fears to dissolve. Showing yourself that you can succeed even when you feel anxious teaches you to tackle challenges. The good news is that it becomes easier each time.

2. Take small steps. Start out with something modest. Schedule that dental checkup you’ve been putting off.

3. Master your timing. Gambling wisely means recognizing the opportune moment. Determine when you have the resources to move ahead. Your small business is more likely to thrive if you write out your business plan and line up investors.

4. Manage stress. Staying fit prepares you to be more adventurous. Protect your body from the consequences of chronic stress so you have greater energy and strength.

5. Think positive. Resolve to be optimistic. Stay hopeful by focusing on what you have to gain. Picture your boss being impressed by your proposal to save money on shipping costs and shorten delivery times.

6. Hang in there. Have the courage to persevere when success fails to come instantly. Difficult tasks may require sustained time and effort.

7. Be sensible. At the same time, you want to pick your battles. Being courageous is different from being reckless. Look out for your safety and the wellbeing of those around you. Plan ahead so you’ll be ready to deal with the outcomes of your decisions. Celebrate your victories and learn from your mishaps.

Cultivate the courage to push beyond your comfort zone. It’s okay to feel a little afraid as long as you keep working towards your goals. Being brave empowers you to enjoy a richer life and accomplish more.

Is Your Average Day Enhancing Your Life?

Few things in life are constant. Small, constant changes are happening all of the time. This is true even while driving in a seemingly straight line down the highway. You’re constantly making course corrections to avoid crossing over the lines in your car.

The quality of your life is no different. Small corrections, applied consistently, can take your life in a vastly different direction. Are you choosing the direction of your life? Or are you living your life by default and simply taking whatever life throws your way?

If you lived yesterday over and over for the next 10 years, where would you land?

* If you ate the same way for the next 10 years, what would your body look like? Would your health be better or worse?

* Did you exercise yesterday? Where will you be in 10 years if you don’t change?

* Your social activities? Should you expect positive or negative changes in your social life?

* What about your performance at work?

* Are you taking steps each day toward reaching your goals?

What is the logical conclusion of living your average day repeatedly? Does that outcome appeal to you? Or are you filled with a sense of dread? If you’re stuck, your average day is holding you back.

The things you do, or fail to do, each day determine your destiny. It’s logical to believe that big changes in your behavior will lead to big changes in your life. However, how many people do you know that have successfully made and maintained a significant change?

Losing weight is simple, but not many people are able to lose weight reliably. Making 400 cold calls per day will make you rich, but how many people have the stomach to do it? Small changes in behavior can lead to huge changes in your results. Patience is the key.

Consider what you could accomplish by creating a productive day and sticking with it.

Design a productive day and create your future:

1. Find a diet that you can follow long term. Eating nutritious foods will help your body to reach a healthy weight. It isn’t necessary to follow a crazy diet to reach your weight goals. People with spectacular bodies have an effective diet and are patient.

* Are you impatient? How much have your body and health changed in the last couple of years?

2. Exercise. A little bit of exercise can go a long way if performed religiously. There’s no reason to train as if you’re fighting in the next Rocky installment. Gently pushing yourself a tiny bit more each week is more than enough.

3. Communicate with those that matter. Relationships crumble a little at time. Talk to the important people each day and have a meaningful chat. Even a short text message can be better than nothing.

4. Develop habits that will enhance your employment. Make a list of the things you could do each day at work to ensure your success long-term. It might involve speaking each day with the employees that report to you. Maybe you need to ensure your work is done on time consistently.

5. Remember your goals. If you’ve always wanted to learn to speak French, set aside 15 minutes each day and get started.

Address all aspects of your life. Create a day that will ensure a positive, happy, and rewarding future if you repeat it over the long haul. What could be simpler? If your life is less-than satisfying, and you’re not seeing progress, take a look at your average day. Create a day that guarantees success.

Is Honesty Always the Best Policy?

Your mom certainly advised you to always tell the truth. Though honesty is often the best path, there are times when a little dishonesty makes sense.

In an ideal world, you’d only speak when your words are honest, kind, and helpful. Unfortunately, there are many times the truth isn’t kind. Do you really want to tell your wife that she looks fat in her dress? Would it be appropriate to tell someone that you don’t think he could ever complete a marathon after hearing of his plans?

What if telling the truth is painful, but helpful? It isn’t always cut and dry that being honest is the best policy.

Consider your options before speaking:

1. Ask yourself how you will feel afterwards. Will you feel better or worse? Look ahead and determine if you’ll regret your honesty or lack of honesty. We’ve all said things without thinking that we later regret. Consider the long-term, too.

2. Consider how the other person will feel. When you’re done speaking, will the other person be in a better place? What is the most likely outcome for the other person after you’ve said your piece? It might feel good to unload a little truth on someone in the moment, but there’s eventually a price to be paid for making someone unhappy.

3. If your words are helpful, you’re probably okay. The great Olympic athlete Jesse Owens lied to a promising high school athlete regarding his long jump accomplishments. This inspired the student to work even harder.

4. Consider the damage created by being dishonest. What is the likely outcome if you choose to lie or withhold the truth? Can you handle it? The problem with lies is the seemingly never-ending need to tell more lies to cover yourself. The truth is like air trying to escape a balloon. It eventually finds its way out into the open.

5. Being self-indulgent is often an excuse to be honest and unkind. Keeping things bottled up can become uncomfortable after a while. You might feel the need to vent and share what you know or think. Ensure that you’re not saying something inappropriate just to relieve your stress.

6. Consider emphasizing kindness and ethics. There are times that honesty is kind and ethical. There are times that dishonesty is kind and ethical, too. Both can also be unkind and unethical. Seek a balance point that makes sense.

* You probably don’t want to run around lying to everyone to lift their spirits, but telling the truth 100% of the time is a poor choice, too.

We all lie. University studies have consistently shown that the average person lies 2-3 times in a 10-minute conversation. Depending on how much you speak each day, that’s many lies.

Observe your conversations over the next week and notice how many times you lie. Notice what you choose to lie about and ask yourself what would have happened if you had been truthful.

Would you rather emphasize compassion and appropriateness or honesty? In many case, these values are at odds. It can be a challenge to make the best choice every time.

The importance of honesty has been debated for thousands of years. It’s a challenging subject with many varying opinions. Complete honesty has the potential to harm others and damage your relationships. A little white lie can often save the day. Consider the impact your words will have before opening your mouth.

How to Make Envy Work for You

Envy may seem unpleasant, but it can also have its upside. It’s disturbing to feel like you’re missing out on something when a colleague receives a promotion you wanted or your best friend is planning her wedding while you’re trying to find a date.

On the other hand, envy may provide insights you can use to understand yourself better and enhance your relationships. Learn how to face up to your true feelings so you can prevent and manage those nagging resentments.

Tips for Preventing Envy

1. Avoid comparisons. Envy crops up when you compare yourself to someone else. It’s a natural tendency, but it can cause a lot of unhappiness. Focus on your own growth and performance. Work at competing with yourself to beat your own past record.

2. Cultivate gratitude. Envy shines a spotlight on what you think you’re missing. Remind yourself of your blessings. List your talents and review your success stories.

3. View others realistically. You probably idealize the individuals who you admire. In reality, each of us faces hardships and disappointments. You may feel more sympathetic toward your rivals when you realize they experience headaches and broken hearts just like you.

4. Teach someone. Turn things around by connecting with someone who looks up to you. Share your marketing expertise with the summer interns. Volunteer to coach gymnastics at your children’s school or sign up to be a chemistry tutor.

5. Think long term. It’s reassuring to consider how resentments fade with time. Eventually you may stop longing for your neighbor’s boat the same way you forgot about your sister’s Barbie dolls.

6. Step back. Similarly, we tend to compare ourselves to those close to us. If you seldom worry about how you stack up against Leonardo or Einstein, why care if someone at work codes faster than you?

7. Celebrate others’ victories. Most of all, take pleasure in the good things that happen to others. It’s one of the most effective ways to stave off envy.

Tips for Managing Envy

1. Open up. Acknowledge your envy instead of trying to cover it up. Uncovering your secrets will loosen their hold on you.

2. Ask for advice. Forget about beating your competition. You’ll have more to show for your efforts if you concentrate on learning from them. If a former classmate launches a new business, invite her out to lunch to pick up some pointers.

3. Examine your friendships. Are you living vicariously through your friends? Coveting your friends’ exotic travels or adult education courses could reveal what you really want to be doing. Pursue your own dreams with a plan that fits your budget and schedule. It’s more satisfying to take action than sit on the sidelines.

4. Build on your strengths. Psychologists suggest that there are two forms of envy. When you feel inferior, you may be prone to depression. Cheer up by looking at the areas where you excel.

5. Accept injustice. The other form of envy is when you feel life is unfair and you deserve the good fortune that others experience. Adjusting your attitude will make you more resilient and content. Some events are beyond your control, but you can decide how you respond.

6. Spread good will. You can minimize the negative consequences of envy by resisting the urge to lash out at others. Dissolve tensions by being extra kind and generous. You’ll safeguard your relationships and your own peace of mind.

Stop envy from turning you into a green-eyed monster. Head off resentments before they begin and channel any competitive feelings into a positive direction.

How Does the Law of Cause and Effect Really Impact Your Life?

Many self-help gurus believe your thoughts alone are sufficient to bring about meaningful change in your life. Some even believe the universe can deliver your wishes to your front door if you merely ask in the proper manner. Maybe this is true, maybe not. But there is one law in the universe that works very reliably: the law of cause and effect. This idea is easy to prove.

If you drop something heavy over your foot, it will fall and hurt your foot. If you follow the directions accurately to make a cake, you’re guaranteed to receive a cake at the end. Even Buddhism covers the topic of cause and effect thoroughly.

The law of cause and effect may be the most universal law of all.

How the law of cause and effect can help you:

1. Your actions are ultimately the controlling factors. This is great news. All you have to do is take the appropriate actions and you’ll get the results you desire. Thoughts can dictate your actions, but the power of your thoughts is only seen when you take action.

2. Success and failure aren’t personal. If you bake a cake, the cake turns out the same, regardless of your education, skin color, religion, or favorite sports team. Mixing the proper ingredients in the proper amounts and baking for the proper duration at the proper temperature are the only factors that matter.

* You aren’t doomed to be a failure at anything. If you follow the success recipe for any endeavor in life, you’ll be successful.

3. Most outcomes are quite logical. Over time, you reap what you sow. If you’re kind to people, you can expect that most people will be kind to you. Mistreating people on a regular basis yields different results.

* Eating too many cakes brings obvious results, too.

* Preparing and studying for exams brings good results. The failure to do so brings opposite results.

* It doesn’t matter if you believe the universe is out to punish you. The outcome from your actions will still be the same.

All of this suggests that thoughts aren’t relevant. However, that’s not exactly true. While you can successfully bake a cake while holding thoughts that your cake will never bake properly, you won’t try if your thoughts are too negative. Having the appropriate thoughts makes the appropriate actions possible.

Negative thoughts can be a blocker to taking advantage of the law of cause and effect.

Making the law of cause and effect work for you:

1. Understand the cause and effect relationships in your area of interest. What actions are most likely to lead to the results you desire? Do some research and be certain. Find the those who are knowledgeable in your area and ask questions.

2. Take the appropriate actions. Remind yourself that if you take the proper actions, your results are guaranteed. Monitor your thoughts and ensure they’re not holding you back.

3. Keep going. Consistently taking the actions that have led others to success will carry you to the same destination. Expect that success will take time. Trust that your actions will be enough. Perseverance is powerful.

Even if success has eluded you in the past, you can rely on the law of cause and effect to hold true. Focus on taking the actions that lead to your desired outcome. Remember, no one has ever followed a cake recipe and received an apple pie from their efforts.

You get the results you deserve. Avoid letting someone fool you into believing that wishful thinking will hand you a cake!

Enjoy Greater Happiness and Success by Managing Your Expectations

If you’re a fan of Charles Dickens, you know that great expectations can lead to house fires and being pursued by escaped convicts. The consequences are usually more subtle in real life, but managing your expectations can make you happier and more successful.

In fact, psychologists believe that the most effective approach is to aim high while being flexible and realistic. Try these tips for enjoying great expectations while you turn setbacks into victories.

Setting Your Expectations

1. Distinguish between goals and expectations. You can want to lose 30 pounds or buy a new car without letting your happiness depend on such events. Work with whatever circumstances come your way. Replace disappointment with acceptance and curiosity.

2. Let go of the past. Most of our expectations are based on our previous experience. Examine your old habits and make conscious choices about how you want to live.

3. Raise the bar. Ambitious goals challenge you to try harder. You hone your skills and rack up achievements that build your confidence. Even if you need more than one try, you know that you’re making progress.

4. Savor the anticipation. Another advantage to reaching high is that it gives you so much to look forward to. You feel motivated to put forth your best efforts when you remember the rewards.

5. Be realistic. At the same time, keeping your goals and expectations reasonable reduces stress. Understand your abilities and strengths. Calculate what resources you have available.

Dealing with Your Expectations

1. Communicate clearly. Hidden assumptions can make it complicated to figure out the true expectations of others, as well as our own thoughts. Listen closely and ask probing questions.

2. Start early. There’s a good reason why major campaigns schedule pre-kickoff meetings, and employers orient new hires. It’s easier to agree on expectations at the start rather than trying to resolve conflicts after someone feels let down.

3. Reinterpret setbacks. When you’re facing outcomes that are less than ideal, remain calm, and give yourself a pep talk. Think about previous ordeals that helped you to grow stronger.

4. Plan for contingencies. Temporary bumps in the road won’t seem like such a big deal when you’ve already mapped out a detour route. Spot potential obstacles in advance so you’ll be prepared.

5. Accept change. Are your expectations keeping up with the times? Check on whether you’re putting aside enough savings for your retirement years and have the latest qualifications to excel in your professional field.

6. Establish priorities. Exceeding expectations can be a wise decision if it helps you to land a new client or give your family a vacation they’ll remember for the rest of their lives. On the other hand, sometimes good enough is okay. You may feel less stressed if you serve salad and sandwiches for dinner on Monday nights instead of cooking a hot meal.

7. Seize opportunities. Managing expectations can be especially rewarding when your hard work pays off better than you hoped. Maybe your hobby will turn into a profitable small business or you’ll meet your future spouse on a blind date. Bask in your good fortune and share your blessings with others.

8. Negotiate skillfully. Even when you’re comfortable with your expectations, you may still need to adjust them to accommodate others. Try to be patient and build goodwill while steering clear of excessive demands.

Set ambitious goals without creating rigid expectations. Know that you can use any set of circumstances to learn and grow. Your future will look brighter even if it turns out differently from the vision you hold today.

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