Believing to Expecting to Achieving

Sage Advice from Norman Vincent Peale

Norman Vincent Peale, in his famous work The Power of Positive Thinking, explains the three-step process to achieve all manner of success in one’s life—and it starts with believing.  

 In his chapter, “Expect the Best and Get It,” Peale explains that the process “will change you into a believer, into an expecter, and when you become such, you will in due course become an achiever.” In other words, if you want to be an achiever, you must first be a believer.  

The order is important—just as a fixation on results can lead to thwarted thinking, a fixation on achieving is often short-sighted. Achieving comes from expecting and expecting is made possible by first believing. When we labor to teach the entrepreneurial mindset to our students, it is essential that we help them see the path to achievement—that success is not a mythical destination but is something we can expect when we follow key principles.  

 Imagine that! We can quite literally set ourselves in the path of achievement by the act of expectation—of knowing, with certainty and faith, that the desired outcome will happen. When we go into a situation with pessimistic thinking, our body language adapts to this thought process. We will use defeatist words, slump our shoulders, and spread a general malaise which will ensure that we will experience little to no success. 

 We must teach our students to expect to succeed and that this expectation must be tethered to a firm belief that they are capable of success so that they will bring about the desired achievement. In Peale’s own simple words, “things become better when you expect the best instead of the worst.”  

The beauty is, he is right. 

Mark your Calendar for March 6-7, 2025  

The 2025 CHCA Entrepreneurship Symposium on March 6 and 7, 2025 will bring together school leaders from around the nation to explore meaningful and impactful entrepreneurship programming designed to engage students, rally communities, and supercharge donors. 

Email Stephen Carter ([email protected]) to RSVP. 

Imagine your culture infused with growth mindset, grit, redefining failure, and opportunity seeking. Imagine your team acting and thinking like entrepreneurs.

Stephen Carter