The Thought for the Day – Emily Brightwell

She’d often observed that people generally lived up to whatever expectations they had of themselves. – Emily Brightwell, The Inspector and Mrs. Jeffries


Emily Brightwell is the pen name of an American writer named Cheryl Lanham, and The Inspector and Mrs Jeffries is the first in a series featuring Mrs Jeffries. In this book, Mrs Jeffries is the maid for the Inspector, a particularly dimwitted sort who only solves crimes because Mrs Jeffries tells him what to do.

“Now, Inspector, you are, of course, going to look into this exciting new clue, correct?”

“Excuse me, sir, the Inspector will attend to that immediately after he attends to this matter, won’t you, Inspector?”

You may have observed today’s Thought in action yourself over the years. How many times have you seen someone with a lousy attitude fail at something? Or succeed at attaining something easy and unsatisfying? On the other hand, how many times have you seen a hard charger get what they set out for? Probably more times than you might think. It happens all the time in our human experience.  

How many times has this person been you? How many times have you reached the expectations you had for yourself? I would venture to say fairly often. If you set your goals high you may well have met them because you knew what you wanted and you had a plan to get there. If your expectations could have been higher, if you settled for less than what your could have been, you met these expectations, too, because it is not difficult to meet low expectations.

In both cases you met the expectations you had for yourself. Us humans do this all the time. It’s the way the world is built. It is important that we expect big things out of ourselves, that we set our goals high, perhaps a bit higher than we think we are capable of going. This is how we advance both as individuals and as a society.

It doesn’t matter what it is either. What’s important to me might be of no particular consequence to you and what drives my neighbor might bore me to tears. All that matters is what you strive for important to you, that you are answering to a calling from deep inside you.

What’s calling you today? What expectations are you prepared to meet today?

The Thought for the Day runs regularly. Quotes are from Gaylon’s personal quotebook – begun in 1988 – and all commentary is original.

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