How People Live Up to Our Expectations

Have you ever had a teacher who brought out the best in you? Or been in a relationship that encouraged you to live at your maximum potential? In such interactions, the common denominators are belief and vision. 

We have far more power over the lives of those around us than we may perceive. And conversely, people tend to live out our expectations of them.

Imagine a high school history teacher who pours enthusiasm into his lessons. He uplifts the energy of the class by engaging and inspiring them, making dates, major occurrences and important people memorable. 

He demonstrates to his class that one person has the ability to change the world, whether for good or bad. And he repeatedly tells his class that each student has the capability to do great things; to be that one who makes a difference for the better, or even start a movement for the betterment of society. 

By employing this educational style, he not only instills the belief that it’s possible for his students to make such an impact; he also expands their vision and imagination.

Now imagine another history teacher who has no real enthusiasm for the subject. He only comes to work out of a sense of obligation. All he does is stand before the class reiterating various dates, and information about wars and the other major occurrences as required by the curriculum. His presentations lack impact because he himself lacks exuberance. And not only do his lessons lack life; he cannot imagine a grand life for his pupils. 

Just as he enters the classroom each day merely to fulfill a job requirement, he assumes that the same fate awaits his students. His apathy bores the children and in turn they gradually lose interest in anything to do with history.

The lesson is obvious: Energy is contagious. When we spread motivation, belief, encouragement and imagination, not only are we spreading happiness; we are doing something even more important. We are fueling the human spirit.

On a conscious or subconscious level, how we feel on the inside is how we will affect each person who crosses our path. The history teacher who loves his job shares that energy with his students. Those students in turn are given the space to dream big, to love learning, and to realize their worth in society.

This belief and grand vision can be applied to all sorts of relationships. What we put out is what we will get back. If you encourage your family, coworkers or friends to become conscious of the excellence they can offer, they will subconsciously live up to that expectation; step up into the light that you turned on in them. 

Of course, like anything else, this can be taken too far – for instance, if you expect the other person to live according to your dreams. This is especially prevalent in parent/child relationships. Sharing enthusiasm and encouragement is at its most genuine when we also allow others to dream for themselves, rather than boxing them into ambitions they do not really share.

Ultimately, we all feed off one another. At every moment, we are exchanging energy. Why not bear this in mind, and share constructive effervescence? In truth, to give and receive are one. The energy we put out will certainly make its way back to us.