One Thing to Do Next Week to Instantly Improve Your Life

We all want to be successful, happy, loved, appreciated.

Successful at work
Happy in life
Loved in family
Appreciated in community

We all have many things to do and little time. But enough time to be successful, happy, loved and appreciated — we just need to clarify what’s important.

Key to success is to clarify what’s important in your life. Click to tweet

1. People

First you need to identify the most important people in your life — your key stakeholders. These are people who you believe have an important stake in your future. You can do this right now.

Think of at least two most important people at work (school), your family and your community.

Think of community as including the people in your life beyond your work and your family.

Feel free to identify whomever you’d like as your key stakeholders. They don’t have to be people who have authority over you. It does not necessary have to be your boss at work. For example, if you have children, you could include them as your stakeholders. It is completely up to you.

2. Expectations

Now when you know who are your stakeholders — you want to know what you expect of them, what they expect of you and how well these expectations are being met.

Success, happiness and appreciation comes when you meet people expectations. Click to tweet

You need to prepare for expectations interview. You will gain new insight into what truly matters to your most important people. This helps you meet their expectations more productively.

These conversations will make you feel better about your important relationships. This is not an easy task, but so worth it. It will definitely improve your life.


Try to see things from the perspective of people who really matter to you.

  1. Write down a paragraph or two to describe their expectations of you.
  2. Evaluate in scale 1–10 how well you think you’re doing in meeting their expectations.
  3. Write down what you expect of every stakeholder.
  4. Evaluate in scale 1–10 how well you think they are doing in meeting your expectations.

People often find that they have certain expectations of themselves, that their stakeholders don’t share. Goal is to uncover these differences.

Schedule conversations

Goal is to have dialogues with all your stakeholders. It will help you see things from the point of view of multiple people who matter in each of the different parts of your life.

  1. Let them know in advance that you want to talk about expectations so they will have time to prepare. Tell that they are important in your life. They will feel touched and be willing to open up more to you.
  2. Choose location and time. Use the medium that’ll work best for them. You want this to be a positive experience for them.
  3. Think ahead about how you can talk about your expectations in such a way as to inspire your stakeholders to share their thoughts.

conversationEach relationship is different and each person will react in a unique way to the opportunity for a dialogue with you. Emphasize that this is about us. It’s not about me.

For many people who took this exercise, most challenging conversations were with family members. Myself included. At the same time — most fruitful.

You may feel that it would be awkward to engage in a formal dialogue with your stakeholder. If you feel that you really can’t have a conversation with this person at this time — consider having a conversation with someone else who could help you understand the expectations that exist for you in that role.

During conversation

Remember, by doing this you’re telling people You are important to me.

  1. Thank for having this conversation and explain that you want to discuss expectations of each other.
  2. Do the hard job — start by telling what you think your stakeholder expects of you (it will be easier for them to add or correct you). Clarify it together. Ask to evaluate how good you meet these expectations. Your goal is to understand, not necessarily to agree. It’s best to ask questions like Why is this important for you? 
  3. Tell your expectations and how good you think your stakeholder meets them. Discuss it together.

After conversations

Take notes what you learned from conversations with your stakeholders.

After you have considered what you think others expect of you, ask yourself these questions:

  • What’s important to your stakeholders?
  • Are there ways in which the expectations, a stakeholder in one domain has of you, that are compatible with those of a stakeholder in a different domain? Do they mash or conflict?
  • Do these expectations fit with your values?

Let’s flip it around, and explore what you expect of your stakeholders. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What are the main things I need from the most important people around me?
  • How compatible are my expectations for them, with what they expect of me?

Treat the stakeholders dialogues as a continuous process, which could be the most important outcome.

Now is a good time to start scheduling those conversations.

Please share your feedback if you decided to take this exercise.

This practice was presented in Total Leadership course by Stewart D. Friedman



Product Person. Passionate about product development and everything related. Currently Product Manager @ Veleza – app that helps to stay skin perfect. Previously PM @ Eskimi – multi-platform social network with 18+ million users.


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