Who am I to expect any amount of success? I am merely 1 of over 7 billion (7,000,000,000!) people on this floating rock. Why should I expect that any success should be mine?

The truth is I really shouldn’t. I have zero expectations that success should be bestowed upon me or given freely. Having that sort of mentality is what leads to being entitled. When entitlement settles in, that’s when resentment over not getting what you want arises. Once you become resentful, you blame everybody else for your problems, you stop taking responsibility, and you become cynical and jaded.

This kind of attitude can be easy to fall into. I’ve done it myself several times. I had expectations that graduate school would come easy and I wouldn’t really have to work for it. I had expectations that marriage would be near perfect and everything would just click. I had expectations that being physically fit would just magically happen if I did a few random push ups and pull ups.

None of these things manifested themselves. And why would they? In what world would good things such as success, happiness, and health just spontaneously appear to one person and not everybody else?

Certainly not this world.

All of these preconceived notions in my life have since come crashing down and I’ve come to realize my place on this planet: I’m here with everybody else. I have no particular claim to what I want over the next person. The only thing I can control is my desire and my willingness to fight for what I want.

I can’t control other people, certain situations, or the outcome of everything that comes my way. What I can control is myself. I can control how I respond to a situation. I can choose what I do with my time. I can also control my expectations.

I don’t expect that success will come my way. Success isn’t something that you can pick up as you slide by on the moving sidewalk of life. The only way to get it is to step off the moving sidewalk, turn off your autopilot and get what you want.

It seems daunting to do this because of the amount of effort it takes. It also appears to be impossible because there are so many people chasing after their success. The fact of the matter is though, there are far greater numbers of people sliding through their lives and not reaching for what they want. Your competition is less when you decide to go after what you want. That competition, however, is far more fierce which makes it seem scarier.

The first step in making any sort of progress toward your dreams, desires, aspiration, goals, or whatever the hell you want to call them is to stop expecting them to come to you. Nothing will ever just come to you in life. If something, by chance, does come your way, don’t expect that sort of thing to keep happening.

I changed my mentality from one of expecting success, to one of expecting more of myself. I can’t expect that great success in life will come to me. I do expect that I will eventually achieve success through my work and focus, but I don’t expect it to just come to me. Only by accepting that I may fail and not reach the point of success, can I be happy in the struggle and fight to achieve my dream.

So now I ask you, what do you expect in this life? What has kept you from getting what you want and how can you change the situation?