Expectation is a placebo.
It’s a story we tell ourselves. It’s a sugar pill, which is the medication prescribed more for the psychological benefit to the patient, than for any physiological effect. It works because if a substance is perceived as helpful, then it can actually heal.
And so, once that expectation is set, once we have a reason to buy into something occurring, we do what we can to make it happen. It’s human nature. The brain needs to prove itself right. To search for information and act in ways that confirm its own perceptions.
The good news is, this cognitive bias isn’t necessarily a bad thing. We can use it to our advantage.
Reading is a perfect example. It’s not the books that make you a better, smarter, healthier and more empathetic person, it’s the fact that you’re the kind of person who would buy and read books, that makes you a better, smarter, healthier and more empathetic person.
Because of your identity, you’re hardwired for growth and progress and personal development. The books are just a tool to confirm that you’ve established yourself as a seeker of wisdom, as a person of action who desires to be more effective.
Whatever goal you’re trying to accomplish, make sure that whatever action you intend to take, it matches the way you see yourself. Because nobody swallows a sugar pill unless they’re the kind of person that would swallow a sugar pill.
Remember, we don’t get what we want, we get what we expect.
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That Guy with the Nametag
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