Your expectations can be self-fulfilling prophecies. For example, if you expect people to dislike you, you may send out subconscious signals of hostility. Those signals, however faint or subtle, can make people uncomfortable and push them away. So your negative expectations will likely create a negative reality.

The opposite is true with positive expectations. If you see the good in people, you will be sending out subtle signals of warmth, approval, and affection, which most people will respond to positively. You can take this to an even higher level by not only seeing the good in people, but by encouraging them to see the good that is inside them for themselves. At the highest level, you can encourage them to act on that good.

By seeing and fanning the flames of the good in others, you will create a reality where their goodness is reflected back to you. That, in turn, will increase your own levels of happiness.

Ways to put this into practice

  • When you meet someone for the first time, remind yourself to look for the good inside them. No matter what your first impression may be, focus on discovering aspects of the other person that you can like and admire. Approach it as a treasure hunt, a search for something special and rewarding. Sometimes the treasure will be in plain view, while other times you may need to search for it.
     
  • When a friend is starting a new project, and you believe the project will be helpful for your friend and for others, look for ways to offer ongoing support and encouragement. This approach is especially powerful if your friend feels insecure and doubtful. Even if your friend feels confident, your encouragement will make your friend’s resolve stronger, which is a great way to contribute to the good your friend is creating in the world.