My Quarterly Booklist

O The Places You’ll Go, Dr. Seuss, 1990

GO-GIVER, Bob Burg and John David Mann, 2007

The Nine Rooms of Happiness, Lucy Danziger and Catherine Birndorf, 2010

52 Ways to Build Your Self-Esteem and Confidence, C. E. Rollins, 1992

Maximum Achievement, Brian Tracy, 1993

More Money Than God, Steven Z. Leder, 2003


CD-Meditation: 4 Steps to Calmness and Clarity, Ed and Deb Shapiro, music by Tim Wheater

What Do You Expect?

What do you expect? Really, what DO you expect to happen in your life? The answer to this question can be the pivot for changes in your expectations. Do you expect life to work for you or against you? Do you expect to get what you want or do you expect threats that fight against your success?

Do you expect the opportunities of the world or do you expect bird-droppings?


created by Stuart Milesimage created by Stuart Miles

I anticipate that most people will say they expect to get what they want, but is that a consistent truth? Or, do you think doom when faced with obstacles that challenge your confidence or comfort? Let’s probe deeper to find the  internal attitude base of your expectations.  Our first step is to consider your first thoughts while reading two scenarios. Note your feelings and inner thoughts to these scenarios:

Scenario One:

You receive a phone call or get a letter that appears threatening and you begin to create mind ideas that there is a problem. As you replay the tone of the call or look at the return address on the envelope, you feel dread. Your mind tells you that this mess always happens to me. You feel threatened and get set to fight whatever comes since this is not “new” to you; there is always something you have to be on guard against such as possible rejection, complaints, or useless demands.  Here we go again is a primary response to the call or official looking letter.

Scenario Two:

You get the phone call of a lifetime or the letter is just what you are expecting. This call or letter portends to make this an exciting day; no problems.  You feel confident and assured whatever the person has to say, you know you can handle the demands that the letter may require. Whatever, whenever – it does not disturb you. You are ready to handle what comes your way, you do not feel threatened nor is your positive resolve to manage the outcome disturbed.

Which is your usual reaction when faced with different scenarios? Do you stoke the flame of dumping doubt and personalize problems or do you know that you can handle what may come regardless of what happens and invite new opportunities?

Truth be told, behavioral researchers say that most people react with the mindset that the world is against them or dumping on them far more than feel in control a majority of the time. “When the going get tough most folks think the world is against them. Listen to the backstabbing and complaining,” says Rhonda Britten.

Warning: What you expect is usually what you get

To paraphrase a song by The Dramatics, What you expect is what you get. Now that you have examined your expectation if confronted with the two different scenarios, the obvious next question is how do I change or further deepen my positive expectation responses?

  1. Anticipate outcomes that are favorable. Adopt the attitude that you can handle whatever comes your way. This first response reaction to bad news or potential problems signal that you have an inner confidence and background experience to manage life. It is not that you do not acknowledge that there could be hidden difficulties, of course there may be, but you know within that you can and will move beyond onto something else soon.
  2. Feel faith rather than fear. Faith is the presence of ability to move into a positive zone.  Fear is the absence of faith in the moment to re-frame initial negative cautionary reaction to protect yourself from threat.  A simple immediate change in perspective is the shift needed to flee fear and embrace faith in your knowledge, rich experiences, and ability.
  3. Greet each new experience with gratitude.  Rhonda Britten adds in her book, Change Your Life in 30 Days, “Gratitude is the first essential step to claim the innocence needed to see the world is for you…Gratitude cures the jaded, overprotective, and defended heart. Gratitude helps you see that the world is for you.”
  4. Accept a new truth – expect good and goodness.  Expect good, expect that you are more than capable, expect the operation of faith.

What you expect is what you get. What you see is what you get. What you feel  is what you get. You might as well expect, see and feel good-that is what you will get.

Fantastic Friday: Bahai Fast

This is a Fantastic Friday for millions of Baha’is, and those who support the Faith, all over the world.   Baha’is around the world will arise for prayers before sunup on March 2, the first of nineteen days of fasting, as they begin their yearly fasting period – an annual renewal of faith.  It is a special time for prayer and also involves abstaining from food and drink between sunrise and sundown for 19 straight days. Members of the Baha’i Faith ages 15 to 70 observe the fast, which ends just before the Baha’i new year on March 21 unless you are exempt because you are traveling, nursing or ill.

Shoghi Effendi, the head of the Baha’i Faith from 1921 until his passing in 1957, described the fast in this way: “It is essentially a period of meditation and prayer, of spiritual recuperation, during which the believer must strive to make the necessary readjustments in his inner life, and to refresh and reinvigorate the spiritual forces latent in his soul.”

Baha’i fast is essentially a period of meditation and prayer.  During these days of cleansing and detachment – the essence of the fast – one is spiritually removed from the dross of this world by concentrating thoughts on peace, unity, sacrifice, service, humility, and gratitude for these days of enrichment.

Any person can participate during this fast period, in fact many people who accept these principles, join the Bahai’s during these days of serenity.

A prayer for fasting:

“This is, O my God, the first of the days on which Thou hast bidden Thy loved ones to observe the Fast. I ask of Thee by Thy Self and by him who hath fasted out of love for Thee and for Thy good-pleasure – and not out of self and desire, nor out of fear of Thy wrath – and by Thy most excellent names and august attributes, to purify Thy servants ….” (excerpt from a Baha’i prayer for fasting, page 260)