mindset bite #012 - can setting low expectations improve performance...


Managing expectations - it's a huge topic within the sporting world and there are diametrically opposing views toward doing so...

There's the camp that says to shoot for the stars, for if you do you'll land on the clouds...
The camp that says aim high, as when you do, it's generally what you get...
The camp that says to go for it, for if you miss, the pain associated with it will force you to come back better & stronger...

Then there's the camp that says aim low, as that way you'll keep your momentum up... you'll keep happiness up... and you'll keep achieving

I'm from a different camp myself, one that utilises a mixture of the two based on a macro and a micro viewpoint...

I love the arguments the first camp puts forth of aiming for the highest star, but there is so much power in managing expectations in our day-to-day lives...

Tim Ferriss tells of the amazing advice he received about writing, which was: " aim for two shitty pages a day, if you achieve that, you've won the day"... this generates immense momentum, as on an average day you'll produce a few good pages, and on the great days you'll produce pages upon pages of great writing... having this low expectation makes it easier to write and keep writing - an exceptional example of setting low expectations to achieve amazing results

Then there's the story of IBM using the lowest sales quota's of its time, despite them having the highest number of sales... their rationale? We don't want our sales team to feel intimidated to pick up the phone. Again, lowest expectations, best performance

And the power lies in the combination of managing expectations on a daily basis (micro level) and shooting for the highest star on a quarterly/yearly/decade/lifetime basis... It's reverse engineering the desired result and knowing this is a marathon and not a sprint

Thinking you'll always be at 100% for an extended period of time is unrealistic and will always leave you frustrated and angry at yourself - believe me on that

As an example, your big macro goal might be making your NRL debut by the year 2022 - a huge goal! But, there are four years between now and then, which equates to 1,460 days, which, if we take weekends out of the equation leaves 1,044 days of training, competing, and bettering yourself...

Knowing that, what do we need to improve upon to become the type of person that plays in the NRL... what are the stepping stones along the way?... What skills do we need to develop physically and mentally... 

As you can see above, it's a LONGCUT, and your aim should be to win each week (winning 4 out of 7 days), then winning the month (winning 3 out of 4 weeks), then winning each year (winning 7 out of 12 months) - and in doing so, you'll generate momentum

How can you set 1-3 daily tasks to do to ensure we cultivate a few of these skills over the years...


Actionable Tips/Questions:

  • What's my macro goal/what do I desire to achieve? Aim high here...
  • The let's break this big macro goal down into small, actionable and manageable steps by asking the following questions: "What's the one thing you can do each day that will move you closer toward your goal and make everything easier or unnecessary?" and "What are the five actions you can take each day that will move you closer toward your goal?"
Nick Maier