By WILLIAM HODGES
There are those among us who constantly expect the worst to happen. Their rationale is that they won’t be disappointed if it happens, and they will be pleasantly surprised if something good happens. That’s not the way we should lead our lives. Living with positive expectancy provides a lot more happiness to our existence than living with a pessimistic outlook. Many times, I have found that looking forward to something was even more fun than the actual happening.
When I was a small child, I wanted a pony very much. My birthday was coming up, and since we lived in a rural area, it was reasonable to expect I might get that pony. My parents had told me time and again that they couldn’t afford a pony, but about a month before my birthday, I overheard my father tell my mother, “I know we can’t afford it, but he will really enjoy riding it.” I just knew they were talking about my pony. For the next 30 days, my mind created visions of my riding across the fields on Trigger. (I was a big Roy Rogers’ fan.)
What wondrous times I had in my mind. I pictured myself grooming and training this beautiful horse—soaping down the leather of the saddle and burnishing it until it shone in the sun. I could see myself the envy of all the kids in the neighborhood. My dreams at night were all of the wondrous present I expected to receive.
On the morning of my birthday, I jumped out of bed and looked out the window, expecting to see my pony tethered in the backyard. It wasn’t there. I ran down the stairs and asked my mother, who was in the kitchen, where my birthday present was. With a smile, she and my father took me by the hand and led me toward the garage. In my mind quickly flashed the picture of our garage being turned into a stable. As we entered the garage, every fiber of my body vibrated with excitement. Dad, his face beaming with pride, pointed to a slightly used bicycle and said, “There it is.”
I won’t tell you that at that moment I wasn’t crushed. But I soon got over it, and I enjoyed riding that bicycle. Today, I would not trade that few minutes of disappointment for the many days of positive anticipation I had enjoyed. For 30 days, at least in my mind, I had my pony.
What situations are you facing today that are causing you to carry the burden of worry and despair? Is there a possibility everything will turn out all right, that you will get what you want, whatever it is? Begin today to focus on getting what you want. Let the worry and despair fall from your mind. Picture yourself as a winner. Things will not always turn out as we hope, but we can always hope they will. It’s a strange rule of nature that what we think about the most is most likely to happen. If we think failure, then we work toward failure. If we think about winning, overcoming and succeeding, then we can win, overcome and succeed.
I never did get my pony, but now, I’m not sure getting that pony would have been all it was cracked up to be. You see, in my anticipation, I never thought about having to muck out a stall, or how much time and effort it takes to care for an animal. Getting my pony may well have been anticlimactic to my dream of having one. Although I will never get my pony, I will have had much pleasure in the hoping. Never be afraid to dream, to hope or to want for fear you might fail. It is those who do not dream, hope or want who truly fail.
William Hodges is a nationally recognized speaker, trainer and syndicated columnist. He also hosts an interview-format television program, Spotlight on Government, on the Tampa Bay Community Network, that airs Mondays at 8 p.m. (Spectrum channel 639, Verizon channel 30) and Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. (Spectrum channel 638, Verizon channel 36). The shows can also be viewed at hodgesvideos.com. Phone: 813-641-0816. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: billhodges.com.