The Edge of Expectation


I often refer to myself as a professional reminder-er. Sometimes I need to be reminded of things, too. Here is a letter I wrote to myself after being in the audience for an inspiring talk by the amazing Hall of Fame speaker, Glenna Salsbury. Perhaps it will serve as a useful reminder to you, too.

Dear Jason,

When you started this business, anything was possible. You had big dreams and high hopes. Sure, some things took much longer to materialize than you thought, and other things crashed and burned.

Don’t let those things define you, or blind you to the fact that anything still is possible.

Try to see life more like an exciting adventure rather than a series of obstacles. Keep putting things out there, letting go of the outcome. If they don’t work, no big deal. Don’t let the failure keep you from trying something else. You never know what’s gonna stick, but in order to find out, you have to try a lot of little experiments.

And for Heaven’s sake, don’t let one little failure dredge up all the past failures you’ve ever had. You lived those once, no need to live them again.

You can only think about one thing at a time. Instead of rehashing old defeats or anxiously visualizing tomorrow’s challenges, stay focused on all the wonderful things that have come to pass, and the many others that are about to! Spend more time playing the game of imagining what God might be doing behind the scenes this. very. minute. Like a kid in his bed on Christmas Eve, look forward to tomorrow’s blessings with electrifying anticipation.

Amazing things are in motion. Surprises and magic are ready to be discovered.

You just need to practice living on the edge of expectation.

[ About the Art: The sketch that inspired this one languished in my sketchbook for a long time. It wasn’t until I heard Glenna Salsbury regale the Wisconsin chapter of the National Speakers Association with story after story of supernatural providence that I settled on the verse. She said she always lives on the edge of expectation. In my experience, it seems like the people who expect miracles are the ones most likely to receive them. I want to be more like that. (Made with Photoshop.) (Buy the print!) ]

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  1. paulabuck says:

    This could not have come at a better time! While my main job right now is a stay-at-home-mom, I also do trainings and consult in the field of early childhood education. I did a training last weekend and it BOMBED! It was so wretchedly bad. Ugh.
    It’s taken about a week of pondering a career change (accountant? firefighter? ANYthing but this?!?) to get to the “What did this teach me? What can I do differently next time?” stage and this post has really helped put this epic failure into perspective.
    I’ve got a lot more to do in this field; I’m not giving up!
    Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Good for you! I’ve definitely had days like those (more than I care to remember!)

      I’ve always tried to live by the adage that when things go bad, just commit to giving it one more day. It’s amazing how much better things seem the day after :)

  2. Paulette Drozdowicz says:

    Hi, I love your site and enjoy your outlook on life. This post on living on the edge of expectation reminded me of a statement from my brother ( who’s dealing with some serious health problems currently). He seems to have an unbelievably positive attitude through it all and when asked how he is he often answers, “I’m just on the edge of magnificent!”
    Also, I just ran across a fun website that is a perfect fit for fighting adultitis….maybe you are already aware of it….but it is called “Dinovember.” Check it out, I think you’ll love it!!

    • Thanks Paulette! Sounds like your brother is quite a guy! (Reminds me a bit of my Dad and his attitude.)

      And yes, that Dinovember site is pretty awesome!

  3. GREAT WORDS of encouragement, Jason and bloggers! It’s an exceptionally gloomy day today and I keep reminding myself that at least it’s warmer, even if it’s raining…Some days it’s hard not to let negativity rule, and when it had just about tightened its grip on me, I opened Jason’s message. We can all help lift one another out of a funk. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

  4. Ralphie says:

    Hi Jason, love your letter to yourself. It also gives me great hope as I’m a grandmother and my daughter is thinking a lot about her childhood. It was a good one and we give her everything and did a lot for her. She was loved. Marriage wasn’t always that smooth but I did what I could to keep us together. Now, she brings it up that she had to grow up quicker. Thinking back in time, I’m at a lost of what she is talking about. I know I need to let it go, I did my very best, she was cared for and loved. thank you.

    • Ralphie,

      In the end, all we can do is our best. Most of the time, we made the best decisions we could with the information we had at the time. One thing is for sure: parenthood is no easy task!!!

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