Only lack of effort and self-doubt can stand in your way. Be fearless, and you will accomplish your aims. Expectations begin with the individual. Although it's important to have expectations for others, the most important expectations you have are for yourself. They determine the outcome of a situation before it even transpires! In this section, you'll learn the key elements in developing them. Put simply, high self-expectations are important for all spheres of life, including occupations, sports, religion, marriage, and parenting. They are applicable across the spectrum of life, and high self-expectations can help you improve virtually all facets of life. We tend to think we can solve our distraction problems by trying to get more done each minute, but more often the real problem is not giving ourselves time to do what we say we will. By timeboxing "you" time and faithfully following through, we keep the promises we make to ourselves. Schedule time for yourself first. You are at the center of the three life domains. Without allocating time for yourself, the other two domains suffer. Show up when you say you will. You can't always control what you get out of time you spend, but you can control how much time you put into a task. Input is much more certain than outcome. When it comes to living the life you want, making sure you allocate time to living your values is the only thing you should focus on. Family and friends help us live our values of connection, loyalty, and responsibility. They need you and you need them, so they are clearly far more important than a mere "residual beneficiary," a term I first heard in an Economics 101 class. In business, a residual beneficiary is the chump who gets whatever is left over when a company is liquidated--typically, not much.

In life, our loved ones deserve better, and yet, if we're not careful with how we plan our time, residual beneficiaries are exactly what they become. What does an episode of depression feel like? Living with it is very hard on you and your family and friends. Depression is not just "feeling blue" for a day. It is far beyond sadness. With depression comes deep despair, physical and emotional pain, and suffering. There is often a near paralysis, being unable to participate in and enjoy life, physically and mentally. With depression, the world is gray and murky and you see only the negative side of life. You may feel guilty, worthless, and without hope. Irritability may be your main response to the world around you. You lose interest in the things you used to like and may not experience any pleasure. Motivation is nearly gone. Sleep may not come, or there may be too much of it, yet it is hard to get out of bed and move about. Fatigue is overwhelming. Food has no taste. You withdraw from people and activities and may lose friends. Communication and small talk is a major effort. Your thinking slows down, and it is hard to concentrate and focus. School and work suffer. Projects and assignments and the mail pile up, and you may spend hours just staring, unable to approach the task at hand.

The thoughts you have are often distorted and negative, yet they seem quite believable to you. Your thinking may be quite disorganized. And at times, you may believe that death will bring relief. It turns out that when controlled scientific studies were conducted, facilitated communication was shown to be worthless. In one very dramatic example, a researcher put headphones on both the facilitator and the child and asked a series of questions. When both received the same question, the child answered correctly. But when the child and facilitator were asked different questions, the child typed the answer to the facilitator's question.3 In another compelling study, a thin wall was erected between the child and facilitator. Each was then shown different items and asked to identify them. The item identified by the child was what the facilitator saw, not what the child saw. These studies clearly demonstrate that it is the facilitator, and not the child, who is responding during facilitated communication. The facilitator is simply guiding the child's hand, likely without even knowing it. All it takes to test the claims of facilitated communication are a few simple experiments. Yet, people are willing to accept the belief that it works on the basis of unscientific evidence. Why? We often believe what we want to believe. Parents desperately want to communicate with their children. Facilitators also want to help the children. They may also be motivated by professional prestige and greater funding opportunities. Unfortunately, when such motivations are not held in check by rigorous scientific testing, we can believe things that just aren't true. This desire to believe is so strong that many of the proponents of facilitated communication are still defending it, even in the face of compelling contradictory data.

A tape is a backward-oriented, thematic reaction to your past, to a particular moment or self-observation in your personal history. It is a prerecorded message with a powerful emotional component. It is an encoded, long-term memory that is highly resistant to change. A painful event happens; you evaluate your reactions in response to that event; and the tape is made. Years later, you don't reevaluate yourself every time you get into a situation that calls for self-evaluation. Your tape is available to tell you, immediately, how to react. A tape expresses itself as a judgment about who you are in the present. The tape encodes that past perception, just below the level of your consciousness, where it plays over and over until it is so overlearned as to be automatic. It is spring-loaded to seize control whenever a relevant situation arises. The prerecorded information of a tape addresses every imaginable aspect of your self-concept: your intelligence, your worth, your value, your strengths, and your potential. Since you will tend to treat the tape as gospel truth, whatever the judgment is, that's your reality. A tape predicts the outcome you will have in the future. One of the first things to do in order to develop lasting expectations for yourself and get results is to identify the outcome (expectation) you want. To do this, you need to dig deep into your heart, soul, and mind. It takes some serious contemplation to identify what you want to manifest in your life. Discovering your passions and unlocking your dreams requires that you be honest with yourself as you engage in the process of self-examination. Be introspective and let your imagination guide you. But above all, be candid with yourself! Do you harbor a deep desire to be a writer, but you have little experience? Never mind that for now.

Don't stifle a dream before it has a chance to see the light of day. Let it shine as a beacon to guide your expectations. You'll find a way there. The next step is to write your expectation down and outline a plan of action. The evidence regarding the benefits of writing down goals and expectations is overwhelming. The people we love most should not be content getting whatever time is left over. Everyone benefits when we hold time on our schedule to live up to our values and do our share. This domain extends beyond just family. Not scheduling time for the important relationships in our lives is more harmful than most people realize. Recent studies have shown that a dearth of social interaction not only leads to loneliness but is also linked to a range of harmful physical effects. In fact, a lack of close friendships may be hazardous to your health. Perhaps the most compelling evidence that friendships affect longevity comes from the ongoing Harvard Study of Adult Development. Since 1938, researchers have been following the physical health and social habits of 724 men. Robert Waldinger, the study's current director, said in a TEDx talk, "The clearest message that we get from this seventy-five-year study is this: good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period." Socially disconnected people are, according to Waldinger, "less happy; their health declines earlier in midlife; their brain functioning declines sooner; [and] they live shorter lives than people who are not lonely." Waldinger warned, "It's not just the number of friends you have - It's the quality of your close relationships that matters." Bipolar disorder, which used to be called manic-depressive disorder, is also a relapsing and remitting mood disorder that significantly affects daily life. As with major depression, it is thought to be caused by a dysfunction in the network of neurons in the brain. Bipolar disorder is characterized by periodic episodes of extreme elevated mood or irritability followed by periodic episodes of depression. These episodes come in cycles, in a different pattern for each person. In bipolar disorder, many people spend more of their illness time in the depressed phase rather than the elevated (manic) phase of the disorder.