2 insanely powerful questions to ask yourself daily to get motivation on steroids and feel great no matter what.
Expectations: The mother of sadness. Certainty: The father of motivation. – Truth Cake.
Staying off the emotional roller coaster of taking risks in life is much easier when you know the 2 players that are responsible for nearly everything.
Expectations govern what you feel. Certainty governs what you do.
Tony Robbins often mentions that if when you have Certainty that something will work is the point when you’ll usually get off the fence and actually pursue something. If you’re certain of something though, you inherently have expectations.
If you are given $1 million dollars this moment, you might be happy. If you played the lottery with a friend and split the cost of a ticket (and therefore the expected winnings), and he took $849 Million of the $850 total prize money and gave you only $1 million, now you’re furious.
Your expectations are dictating what you’re feeling.
If I tell you to market a product door to door and you don’t make a dollar for weeks on end, you’ll give up as you probably should; door to door selling sucks. But if you were Certain, and therefore Expecting to make millions by the end of the year you’d likely not give up. However, if you don’t have certainty that you’re going to get paid for working, you’re pretty unlikely to show up to work.
Your levels of certainty are dictating what you’re doing.
There’s a delicate balance of not being emotionally wrapped up in every success, since if that success event doesn’t occur, it’s responded to with sadness. You expect someone to call you for your birthday, and when they don’t, you’re saddened. If you’re depressed about something, it’s usually a matter of just finding where your expectations didn’t match with reality.
Alexander Pope, the famous 18th Century poet says – “Those who expect nothing, will never be disappointed.” This is a pretty melancholy existence. And to follow it up, those who expect nothing often won’t be motivated to try to do anything either.
The good news is that both expectations and your feelings of certainty are both under your mental control 100%. A lot of people starting off in personal development start to feel certain they’ll achieve their goals in record time, then when they don’t hit those expectations, they’re depressed and conclude it’s a bunch of BS.
“Expectation” can be solved by expecting the worse and convincing yourself that you’re fine with it – this allows for upside potential only. But then you lose a lot of motivation in life. Therefore, the secret trick to mastering Certainty is to generally go vague.
Instead of being certain that “Starting this new business will make me rich!” you can restate it to, “Continuing to try multiple things and trying my best will make me rich!”
Now your expectations are that you’ll get rich eventually and your certainty is tied to your general efforts, and not the results of one specific business.
Therefore, each day ask yourself 2 easy questions to feel wonderful and accomplish what you want:
Where can you lower your expectations in life and still be content/happy like a Stoic so you can feel good about your day to day life?
Where can you generalize your certainty a bit and then amplify it up to feel absolute certainty for things you’re striving for?