“You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them.” -Micheal Jordan


COMMENT: Psychologists have found that you generally need to have self-efficacy, or the belief that you are capable of doing something, before you can do it. However, scores of talented young people believe they can become professional athletes like Michael Jordan. But, through no fault of their own, most do not make it. It is not uncommon for would-be athletes to go through their lives depressed and bitter because they expected to make the pros and didn’t. They feel cheated. This is why many Buddhist teachers label expectation as the root of suffering. While setting goals and planning for your future are essential, expecting things to turn out a certain way is a recipe for misery. Thus, an edit to Michael Jordan’s quote that is better supported by Eastern Philosophy and modern psychology is: “You have to believe you can accomplish your dreams without expecting them to come true.”

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