I was running a Discover Your Winning Edge workshop this last week and was talking to a participant about what he said he wanted in his business vs what he was expecting to attain. At first, the amount of business that he said he wanted vs. the amount he expected was noticeably different. It became obvious that the increase in business was something he was “hoping” for.
Since what I do has nothing to do with thinking like “The Secret”, in which your thoughts somehow create your reality, I asked him to think of it this way… if you are hungry, would you rather have one apple in your hand or “hope” for three?
He replied that of course he would rather have one apple in his hand. I then said, “I am not saying that you can’t aim for, and ask yourself the question “what must be true in order for me to have three apples” but what I am asking is that you stop “hoping” you’ll have three. The moment you “hope” for something you take it out of the realm of having any personal ability to make it happen- the result by definition would have to happen by some force or influence outside of you would need to be responsible.
Assuming that what you want is a match and a fit for who you are when you are at your best, asking yourself the question “what would have to be true in order me to have what I say I want” puts your attention where hope is not and will cause you to consider what you can do to set things in motion that would have that outcome happen. That of course does not mean you have to do it, but you become responsible for setting it in motion. Thus this takes it out of the paradigm of “hoping” and puts it back into the realm of you having direct influence… and ironically allow for serendipity (or whatever you want to call it)- things outside of your direct influence- to come into play that you might never have considered when you started.
I’m sure when you think about it, the things that have worked out the best for you have always been different if not exceedingly “better” than anything you could have “hoped” for planned for anyway. Yet even though the outcome might look different, it reflects an outcome that you somehow know is totally on track and a match and a fit for you. And in the case of growing a business, it is one of the key pieces that allows for it to truly succeed… and have staying power.