When we visit a theme park or the county fair there are some wild rides. Often, because of what we’ve seen or heard about the ride, we decide whether or not to get in line. On most of the attractions there are restrictions on who should participate. But regardless of that, after the ride, people either run back to the end of the line to “do that again!” or exclaim with swears and promises, “You never have to worry about me doing that again for the rest of my life!”
There are so many times in life when we have an ‘amusement park’ experience. Two people can share similar circumstances and one person walks away thrilled and excited, anxiously anticipating the next opportunity while the other person, seemingly to have barely survived, vows to never take that ride again. What differentiates the two? I think it all revolves around one word – EXPECTATIONS. One person went into the situation convinced that they were going to have an enjoyable experience while the other person approached the opportunity with fear and trepidation. And upon completion, both were rewarded with the fulfillment of that which they sought. It’s called the Pygmalion Effect of the self-fulfilling prophecy.
If your response is, “Hey John, I never asked for or expected to receive this…” hold on one moment and let me explain. I completely understand that all of us experience things we never desired or asked for. Who wants to lose a job? Their home? A loved one? Their retirement? Who wants to see a significant relationship end? Nobody does. But many of us experience these things. It’s called LIFE.
It has been said… “It is not what happens to you – It is what happens in you.” I have also heard it said, “You can’t always control what happens but YOU can always control how you respond to it.”
Regardless of whether your experience is the Screamer or the merry-go-round, you alone have complete control over how you choose to live. You have control of and you can manage your expectations.