Have you ever tried to change someone else’s mind?  Have you talked and pleaded with them to see a different point of view but in the end failed to get through?

Expectations are the key

To change someone you need to understand expectations.  We see the world through our expectations.  As we act, do, talk, exist, we expect to have certain real-world outcomes, also called experiences.  These “expected experiences” or expectations, are how we plan the world to work out for us.  They are what we expect to get from the world.

Happiness is easy to find, but so is disappointment

If those expectations are violated then we are disappointed, if they are met then we are content. But if somehow these expectations of our future experiences are exceeded, then we have the phenomenon known as happiness.

My wife is great at expecting things

For example, if I say I will do the dishes and then don’t, I have given her a reality that is below what she expected and she is disappointed.  If I do the dishes she got what she expected and is content because reality met her expectations. If the dishes aren’t done to her expectations then she will be disappointed.  But if I do a better job than she thought I would, she is mildly happy.

If I decide to be “Husband of the Year” and do the dishes, vacuum the carpet, give the dogs a bath, AND clean the bathroom on my day off, then she gets more than she expected and since reality exceeded her expectations she experiences joy and happiness.   It’s all very simple, but often goes unnoticed.

Are you willing to change yourself to change someone else?

Definitely think about this if you want to change someone’s life for the better:

  • In what ways am I disappointing the one’s I care about?  The one’s I love? What are their expectations of me?  Are those realistic expectations?  Am I even close to meeting the realistic ones?
  • How often am I just getting by?  If I were to grade my daily behaviors on a 1, 3, or 5 scale then how many would be in the middle?  How can I change my efforts from 3 (mediocre, content) to 5 (exceptional, happiness)?
  • In my day to day interactions, business and personal, how can I exceed someone else’s expectations?

You have the power to change a life for the better, you just need to find out what their expectations are and learn to go beyond whatever that person expected from reality.  It will change their lives and yours.