Richmond Football Club coach, Damien Hardwick, recently observed of his team, “Last year they hoped, now they are starting to believe they can win.”

What he’s saying is that they’ve turned hope into expectation which is a powerful transition to make for any organisation or individual. 

It means that they go into any challenge with a different mindset.  Instead of relying on external factors to go their way, they understand that if they perform to their best, they have a very good chance of winning.

Living in hope is a good thing.  It’s better than giving up altogether and complaining about the circumstances that have conspired against you.  Hope is optimistic and positive, positioning yourself to better identify and grasp opportunities that come your way.  But living with an expectation of success is a more powerful mindset that enables you to take charge of your life more effectively.

Some people would debate the difference, but let me ask you what’s more compelling:

  • Going to work hoping for a good day, or expecting to have one?
  • Starting a marathon hoping to finish, or expecting to?
  • Going to church hoping to learn something new about God, or expecting to?
  • Going into an exam hoping that your hard work and study pays off, or expecting it to?
  • Going into a sporting contest hoping to win, or expecting to?

I think that you know the answer.

How can you turn hope into expectation?

Win the private battles.  Expectation starts to build when you discipline yourself to do the hard work behind closed doors when no-one’s watching.  If you’ve studied hard, worked hard, practiced hard and prayed hard you’ve built for yourself a strong foundation for success.

Work to a plan.  If you have a solid game plan that you believe in, confidence rises and you start to take meaningful action that will take you closer to your goal.  If you don’t have a plan, then you’re just hoping that things work out for you, relying more on external factors than your own behaviour.

Watch your mindset.  Maintaining a positive, resourceful attitude is a key to maintaining an expectant approach to life.  Don’t fall into the trap of blaming others, making excuses or getting distracted by trivial matters. 

The great preacher Charles Spurgeon once said, “You might not get what you want, but you always get what you expect.”

Do you hope for success, or do you expect it?

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