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How Expectations Determine Success

  • 2007 29 Nov
How Expectations Determine Success

Here’s a note I received from reader Michael McClure, from Burlington Ontario, Canada.  Thanks to Michael for his permission to pass this along - and for the best example of we get what we expect that I’ve heard in a long time.  

Hello Dan,

Can I tell you a quick story?

Years ago I was playing golf and wondered why each time I had to shoot over water my ball would head straight for it and take the plunge. It would happen over and over again. I would approach the tee, notice the water, reach into my bag and grab the grubbiest ball I could find, tee up, and launch it into the lake. Then one day while waiting for a partner to tee off I was examining the ball I had chosen and noticed it was in pretty good shape. I wasn't sure I wanted to lose such a good one so I looked for one a bit more beaten up. Then it dawned on me, why am I setting myself up to lose this ball? Why am I planning to fail?

Why am I focusing so much on the water and not on the fairway on the other side? And that was the day I pulled out my very best ball. I chose the cleanest, newest, and most expensive ball I could find. That decision changed my mindset as well as my posture, and I shot par. I've been using my best ball on every hole since that day and, while I'm no Tiger Woods, my game has improved. But what improved most was the way I felt during the game. The changed mindset. Looking past the obstacles, I felt confident, more expectant, and enjoyed the day like never before.

It was a simple lesson I learned and I find it translates well in many areas of life. It was one of your callers that reminded me of this event. The caller was wondering why he was afraid to succeed and tended to sabotage his own efforts. It might be the fear of change or it might be a fear of what it might do to a comfortable way of life.

Thank you so much for your program. I'm a new listener (listening via podcast in Canada) and heard about you on the Dave Ramsey show. Howard Dayton and Steve Moore from Crown Financial also mentioned your name so I had to find out more. I trust all these men very much and I'm very grateful to you for your program and your many other excellent services that I'm just now learning about.

Blessings, Michael McClure  

I don't think I need to add anything to Michael's profound message.


Dan Miller is President of The Business Source, founder of "48 Days" and author of 48 Days To The Work You Love and 48 Days To Creative Income. He is the growing authority for creating effective life plans that are achieved by integrating natural gifts, unique personality traits and one's own values and passions. His unique clarification of how God gifts us will introduce you to a new sense of freedom and fulfillment of your life's calling. For more information, visit