I want you to humor me for a minute and do a brief exercise with me. When you think about what you want out of life, what you hope to accomplish, and the kinds of achievements you want to be proud of or remembered for, what comes to mind? Additionally, when those thoughts, dreams, or ideas come to mind, do you set expectations to achieve them, or do you somehow talk yourself out of them being possible, and make adjustments down toward something “more realistic”?
The mind is an incredibly overlooked and underutilized part of our lives. We spend so much time overthinking every situation or scenario but so little time paying attention to the very thing harboring those self-defeating thoughts. Let’s dig a little deeper into that today, as I want to talk to you about setting your expectations.
Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe it will achieve, someone once said. A scripture I often talk about on my podcasts and reference in my personal reflection time is, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7) It’s one thing to talk about what you’d like to see happen. It’s one thing to dream and to even verbally express those dreams to your friends, to your family, to your peers.
It’s another thing entirely, however, to believe deep within your heart not only are those things possible but you will have them, you will achieve them, and you will fully realize them in your life.
Specifically, I’m talking about setting your expectations for what you really want. What do you believe is possible for you this year, and can you see yourself living it? If you set your expectations small, you’re going to get small. If you set your expectations status quo and mediocre, well, you’re going to have more of the same. If you see your future through the prism of what your results and your outcomes were last year, I promise you you’ll be fixated on a previous result, and you’ll get more of the same. You must set your expectations firmly based on what it is you believe is possible. Set your expectations firmly on what you believe is doable. Set your expectations for what you want out of your life.
The Bible says faith is your belief, the tangible substance of those things you hope for, and is evidence of the invisible. That’s crazy to me! How can you have evidence of what’s invisible? Imagine going to a court of law and wanting to admit evidence nobody could see. Yet, that is exactly how faith works and, in turn, is how we need to formulate our expectations.
You have to believe in something you haven’t yet seen. You have to believe firmly in something intangible. You have to believe it so strongly and so firmly that, to you, you don’t need any more evidence. It’s in your heart. You’ve seen it. You know it can happen. You believe it at a core level, and it will be achieved and realized in your life.
So what are you dreaming about? What are you believing for? What are you hoping for in your marriage, relationships with your children, friendships, your business, your income, your financial status, your ministry, your foundation? Can you put your faith and your expectation firmly on that basis?
Set your expectations for big things. Don’t settle for less. It’s going to be a successful, productive season if you simply believe it will be.