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Expectations and exploration

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Expectations and Exploration
By Douglas Vermeeren

Expectations are imposed upon us from all sides. Expectations as to what our success looks like, expectations of what kinds of cars and clothing we should be wearing and also expectations of the kinds of things we will have to do to get there. While expectations may serve us beneficially in some regards, generally speaking the expectations of others can hinder us from finding our best self and what it is we really want.

I call that quest, exploration.

Exploration is our ability to live our life from a place of authenticity. To explore the things that we want, seek and wish to become. For most in today’s society they rarely venture far down the path of exploration. Expectation demands to much from us to allow for that kind of freedom. As a result, most of us feel an empty desire to seeking for more to fill the void left from lack of self fulfillment. More cars, more clothes, bigger houses, more toys and the sometimes even artificial quick fix relationships to replace the ones that we won’t work at,because expectations are that things should come easy.

These false expectation come first from outward sources. People around us tell us how we should measure achievement and success. They paint for us what failure looks like and how people will feel about us if we don’t measure up. We see these lessons in everything from our advertising to characters in fictional stories. These lessons are then translated into the lives of the people we interact with daily. Our world becomes so saturated with these expectations that we begin to ingest them into our belief and value systems.

Many of these false views of success in the end are totally unobtainable. Like the perfectly airbrushed vision of beauty, or the lifestyles of the rich and famous or the argument free life of the perfect family on your weekly sitcom. These expectations create in us the feeling that we are imperfect without these things and we spend our lives chasing this unobtainable destination.

What’s worse than these exterior expectations placed upon ourselves are the ones we place on ourselves. We begin to expect realities that don’t exist. And because they are unobtainable we suffer a multitude of challenges when they cannot be reached. Aside from decreased self esteem, challenged confidence, wasted efforts, challenged relationships, workaholism and resources that are thrown away there is one tragedy that superimposes then all.

The exploration of self. Upon close examination of all top achievers, today and through out history, we find a significant belief and trust in self. Indeed, even a commitment to self. How can this be found? The first step to believing and trusting self is to find self.

This is not a quick process. This is the process of exploration. Almost like with an onion it involves peeling back layers, one at a time, to find the character and individual revealed inside.

When you can find the true nature of who you are, what you want, what you are excited or passionate about magical things begin to happen. In fact, through this process you will the true path to creating lasting success. Finding this path is what we teach in our “Finding your Brilliance” seminars. That is really what success is all about. Finding out what your “Brilliance zone” is and tapping it to it, unleash your strongest and powerful self.

The outside world would have you identify a comfort zone and then encourage you to step out of it. Do everything that’s new, the things that you are afraid of and find ways to push yourself to new limits. Top achievers don’t work that way.

While they do look for ways to grow and stretch. Most of the time their growth is relatively painless as they do it in areas of their brilliance. They seek for growth in the areas that excite them and that will add to their areas of expertise. The areas that they have chosen for themselves through exploration, not expectation. And as they grow they are never really leaving their comfort zone, the are growing within their “Brilliance Zone.”

When we grow in this area of our lives we will find greater excitement, more motivation, recognize more opportunity and even our ‘groove.’ Groove of course, is not a scientific term. But how can it be described. It is almost zen like. When we are functioning at our highest level of self and it becomes effort less. These are the moments when inspiration can take our work to a productivity level that passes the ordinary.

That is where success and top achievers are born.

My challenge to you is to realize that much of what you are doing today may be the result of expectations. Conditioning placed upon you by the society outside of you. You have internalized and are working to fulfill these mostly false expectations about what is needed to make you successful and happy.

It is time to pause and take a closer look. A time to explore inside who you really are and what you really want and most importantly why. As you journey to the inside of your being you will begin to find the keys that will unlock your possibilities and create greater successes. It is only with your brilliance that you can live from inspiration. It is only by being inspired that you can lead an inspiring life. And an inspiring life is one that is successful and makes a difference. Those are the true successes of the human race.

Douglas Vermeeren is the director of the SUCCEED Research Center which is dedicated to sharing research on the systems that top achievers use to create lasting success. Over the last decade Vermeeren has interviewed more than 400 of the world’s top achievers, including business leaders, celebrities and professional or Olympic athletes. For more information and a FREE gift to increase your productivity go to and for more details on how this article can be applied to your personal success become a supporting member of The SUCCEED Research Center . There you will find tools, exercises and strategies to take you to the next level in all areas of your life.

Written by douglasvermeeren

May 28, 2010 at 10:53 am

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