You know how you can learn big ideas in the most mundane situations? If you pay close attention to life around you, you can usually pick up on truths that God is dying to share with you. It happened to me once when I was playing golf with a business associate, John, several years ago. It had to do with expectations.
John was telling me of another time he was playing golf with a friend of his. John had not been playing as well as he would have liked and his behavior was showing it! After several bad shots, John slung himself back into the cart with clear frustration. Bill finally spoke up.
“John,” Bill said with a pause, “You’re just not that good!”
John was stunned, he tells me later. But then it hit him what Bill was saying. See, Bill was trying to help John recognize that going to the golf course once a week did not give him the right to get upset over not-so-great shots. Bill knew it would take much more work and dedication than John had given so far before he could rightfully get upset at his less-than-stellar results.
Expectations vs. Commitment
John wanted to see exceptional results from less-than-exceptional commitment. Like many of us, his expectations were unreasonable when he considered what he had put into the game.
Now, how do we apply this at work and with our faith?
Simply put, we need to match our expectations with our commitments.
You could start with your expectations and let them lead you to the commitments you need to make. Or you could begin with your commitment levels and then determine reasonable expectations from them. You could even use one method for certain areas of your life and then switch to the other method for the rest.
It really is not important which one you use first. The key is to make sure they match. High commitment levels and low expectations will likely cause you to fall short of your potential. High expectations and low commitment levels will probably create frustration as it did with John.
Soon, I will be sharing with you the methods I use to determine my expectations and commitments during my own personal LIFE planning each year. My intent is not to show you the only way to do so, but simply the way I choose to do it.
If you already have your own plan, I hope you can find something worth adding to your own method. If you have never done this before, I want to give you some ideas that can get you started. Either way, I strongly encourage you to take time to plan your year.
If you do not fill your schedule with your own priorities, other people will fill it in with their own!
Are your expectations reasonable in light of your commitment levels?
Where do you need to change your commitment or expectations?
What can be your next action step toward making this happen?