Is Expectation the Greatest Force on Earth?

Harry Olson shares how the incredible power of expectation affects our world.

I used to think that love was the greatest force on earth.

Lately, however, I have come to recognize that the greatest human force is something else, something deeper, something even more fundamental.

I’m talking about the power of expectation. It can move mountains, save life, and when used negatively, destroy life.

How do expectations have such power?

The answer lies with your subconscious mind. Your subconscious controls your automatic actions and physiological responses, habits, creativity, and even your perception. That’s right. It controls what “vibes” and other cues in your environment that you will see or not see. We all have had the experience of not seeing something that was in plain sight because we didn’t want to see it or were thinking about something else.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, however. The subconscious is much more proactive. It “goes for” this and it “goes for” that, creating self-fulfilling prophecy. Behind the scenes, outside your conscious awareness, it works little by little to create into reality what you down-deep expect or believe. In other words, it slyly helps you turn fiction into fact.

The end result: if you believe or expect a certain outcome, you will find yourself acting in subtle ways that help set up the very thing you expect, for good or for ill. And you won’t even know you’re doing it!

Expectation is also transactional. Not only are we sending out vibes and actions, we’re also receiving them from others and responding accordingly. Everyday we are living up – or down – to the expectations of others.

How many great leaders do you think become greater because of the faith their followers had in them? In truth, we all help make each other possible.

Our expectations underlie and impact everything we think feel, and do. It pays, then, to examine and form them carefully….Continue reading on

Harry is a peak performance and life optimization coach and the author of Joy and Victory NOW! and other books.

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Rosemary H.
Rosemary H5 years ago

Don't get trapped into expecting so much you are disappointed, as other people say. But believing that you will eventually succeed must be good.

Ernie Miller
william Miller6 years ago


Sue Brewer
Sue Brewer6 years ago


Deborah W.
Deborah W6 years ago

Respectfully disagree. Expectation often sets the bar unrealistically high, then when you fail to meet the goal set you're shattered . Depending on how deeply affected, the next opportunity is often overlooked, shut down, or labeled impossible before even trying.

Believe we're better than that ... give it your best shot. If not everything you thought it would be, reevaluate,adjust and try again -- as long as it takes. Another of life's lessons which needs time, dedication, adjustment, repetition ... and in the end accomplishment is worth every bit.

Eternal Gardener
Eternal G6 years ago

Expectations... do not like them!

Eternal Gardener
Eternal G6 years ago

Don't think so!

Mary B.
Mary B6 years ago

Most people commented that expectations set too high lead to disapointment. Expectations set too low lead to all manner of victomhood, resentment,loss of respect for yourself and others. Personally, I'll set my expectations high then I'll be looking for opportunities to bring about what I'd really like. If you just accept what ever life hands you, you won't know where those ideas came from or what their agenda was. The time to accept what life hands you is AFTER you've defined your own expectations so that you can know what you're heading toward.What often confuses people is that there's always old clutter blocking the way that must be moved passed.Instead they get stuck there and think nothings working right or they're being punished, or it's not what The Universe or God wants for you, or you didn't 'learn your lesson' ect. Losing desire for forward movement leads to death and you will always be moving toward something, so may as well choose something that brings you good will.

Terry V.
Terry V6 years ago


Nils Anders Lunde
PlsNoMessage se6 years ago


GGma Sheila D.
Sheila D6 years ago

Only live up to other people's expectations when they coincide with your own.