The Power of Positive Expectation

Speaker and author Barry Spilchuk writes that he has never met Pete Rose, the famous baseball player, but he taught Barry something so valuable that it changed his life.

Pete was being interviewed in spring training the year he was about to break Ty Cobb’s all time hits record.

One reporter blurted out, “Pete, you only need 78 hits to break the record. How many at-bats do you think you’ll need to get the 78 hits?” Without hesitation, Pete just stared at the reporter and very matter-of-factly said, “78.” The reporter yelled back, “Ah, come on Pete, you don’t expect to get 78 hits in 78 at-bats do you?”

Mr. Rose calmly shared his philosophy with the throngs of reporters who were anxiously awaiting his reply to this seemingly boastful claim. “Every time I step up to the plate, I expect to get a hit! If I don’t expect to get a hit, I have no right to step in the batter’s box in the first place!” “If I go up hoping to get a hit,” he continued, “then I probably don’t have a prayer to get a hit. It is a positive expectation that has gotten me all of the hits in the first place.”

Imagine you were at the plate in a baseball game that could decide a championship. It is the bottom of the ninth and your team is down one run. There are two outs with a runner on second.

Do you step to the plate praying that the pitcher walks you?

Or would you have Pete Rose’s positive expectation and step to the plate telling yourself “I was made for this moment. That ball is going outta this park.”

Personal Applications 

In a like manner, you should go to work with the attitude that you will make it a successful day and that you will be able to handle whatever blocks or problems come your way. Never go to work expecting to get into an argument with someone or expecting to have crises blow your day away. Why? Because expectation becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

It is important to rid yourself of negative thoughts such as: “There is no way I’ll get that project done on time,” or “I know I won’t make quota.”

I’ve never seen a study, but I’d like to see figures on the hours of precious time that is wasted each day because of negative attitudes and discouragement. I’ll bet it is at least 2 hours–that’s nearly 1/3 of your focused working time. Therefore, to use the power of positive expectation to create a winning lifestyle, rid yourself of a pessimistic attitude.

One way to use the power of positive expectation to make your life better,  is to use the language of winners when you wake up in the morning. As you get out of bed, don’t say, “There is no way I’ll get that project done on time.” Instead, say, “I will get sections X and Y finished today.” Don’t say, “I know I won’t make quota.” Tell yourself , “Today I’ll make a sale and I’ll be on my way to making quota.”

By using this simple strategy of positive self-talk, you’ll be filled with determination to succeed, thus filling your mind and body with energy.  You’ll find it easy to get started on the pile of paperwork related to your project that is due next week or pick up the phone and make that first sales call for the day. Your mind will be generating creative ideas and solutions for project or sales challenges.

Charismatic leaders in today’s organizations know that they can use  the positive expectation principles to inspire their employees who may be overwhelmed with their workload or pressed for more sales.

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