Abundant Optimism

Helping people regain and keep an optimistic outlook in challenging circumstances and improve their creativity, mind, and skills.

Always Expect the Best

by Tamara Martfeld

Regardless of what you are doing, where you are, and who you are with, always expect the best. Always expect the best service, the best seats in a theater, and the best of the people around you. This is the ultimate in optimism.

It has been proven that we will frequently get what we expect. If a teacher is told that her students are stupid and cannot learn, regardless of the intelligence of the students, they don’t do well. If a class of less than average students have a teacher who has been told they are exceptional students, the students will frequently thrive. The same thing happens in the workplace. If a supervisor expects poor work form the employees, that is what is produced. If excellent work is expected, excellent work is submitted. The phenomenon is so recognized that it has a name – The Self-Fulfilling Prophesy.

Winston Churchill once said, “I am easily satisfied with the very best”. This is a wonderful thought and something good to quote or paraphrase when asked what you want out of a situation. Think of it as the perfect answer when a hotel clerk ask, “How may I help you?” - answer, “I would like your very best room for X amount of money.” When asked by a restaurant hostess “May I have your reservation?” – answer, “Yes. I would like your best table, please”. State that you expect the best and you will frequently get it, or at least the best the person is capable of giving. Remember to tip as appropriate for what you receive.

It may not always be possible to voice your expectations. When this is the case, act out that you expect the best. I am sure you have all seen great examples of how to act from celebrities and rich individuals. Hold your head high. Walk tall as if you are a puppet on a string, or if you are unable to walk, adopt the same attitude in the way you hold your body. Speak with confidence. Smile. Think of your proudest moment and hold your body as if that moment was now. Follow the good examples, not the bad examples – remember to be polite and courteous, say please and thank you, and remember your manners. An interesting point: I am not rich myself, but I have had the occasion to be around some who are very rich and others who wanted everyone to think they are rich. The ones who truly had wealth treated people well and as fellow human beings. The ones who wanted everyone to think they were rich portrayed the stereotype of the snob. Don’t be a snob – treat others as equals. No one is better than you, regardless of their position, and you are not better than anyone else.

Just as you expect the best from others, remember to give the best when you are on the giving end of the encounter. You might be able to make someone’s day by pointing out that the table they are getting is the “best table you have”, or point to web sites or other resources indicating that the service you provide is exceptional. Treat them as you expect to be treated (sound familiar?).

By expecting the best and giving your best you are creating a better world for yourself and others. Realistically, you are not likely to get the best in every situation. However, by expecting the best, by expressing your optimism of having the best of everything, you will find that you get the best more times than not.