Friday, January 28, 2011

Go to the Party Intending to Have a Good Time

Expect good things to happen.

It's an emotional risk to always expect the best. I risk being let down. I risk other people calling me naive. I risk getting less than what I'd hoped for. I risk having to cope with disappointment.

It's an even greater gamble, however, to expect the worst. When I expect the worst, then I look for the worst. Naturally, I seek to confirm my expectations. And more than likely, the worst, in some form or another, will occur. If I expect my children to misbehave, then I begin to look for all the things they are doing wrong instead of appreciating what they are doing right.

Likewise, when I expect the best, I'm primed to notice good things in a situation. If I expect my husband to come home from work in a good mood, I'll notice how he didn't slam the door, or how he greeted the kids, or how he tossed his keys into the basket. If I expect a party to be fun, I'll mingle more, I'll engage in lively conversations, I'll compliment the hostess. In essence, I will ensure that I attribute my husband's behaviors to a good mood. I'll go to the party intending to have a good time.

Will there be times when I expect good things to happen and they don't? Of course. But living fearlessly means that I am willing to take that risk and to accept (which is very, very different from expect) that bad things will happen, too. And when they do, I deal with them without ever giving up on the expectation of better things to come.

TODAY'S ASSIGNMENT: In your BOOK OF LISTS write down three good things that you expect to happen in the coming week. Fearlessly believe that they will. At the end of the week examine whether or not they happened, how they happened, and how your expectations influenced those good things.

Lucy Adams is the author of two books: Tuck Your Skirt in Your Panties and Run and If Mama Don't Laugh, It Ain't Funny.

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