In school we learn a variety of math formulas. We learn how to convert temperatures from Fahrenheit to Celsius, we learn how to calculate the area of a triangle, and many more. The beauty of these formulas is the certainty that they provide. We know that if we know the formula and have the correct inputs, we can compute the correct answer. Presumably, as adults, we use these formulas to solve problems and to move toward something we desire.

People ask me about unleashing their potential—how to do it and what steps to take. Because of this recurring and important question, I have worked to distill part of the answer into a formula. This formula will help us because if we can identify the inputs and use the formula correctly, we can improve our performance and provide greater service to others as we reach toward our potential.

The Inputs

The inputs to this formula are as follows.

* Expectations: those things we expect of ourselves.
* Beliefs: what we believe to be true about ourselves, our skills, our abilities and potential, and our world.
* Actions: the behaviors we exhibit and the things we do.
* Reality: the result or end point of our efforts.

The Formula

Expectations create beliefs. Beliefs create actions. Actions create realities.

Perhaps you will want to remember this formula as EBA = R. As written, it looks like a formula that uses multiplication. In a way, it does—if you have a zero in any of the first three inputs, there will be no change to your reality (or results). However, as we all learned in math class, in multiplication you can complete the formula by multiplying the factors in any order. In our formula it all starts with expectations; in other words, the multiplication must be done in order to make sense.

Before I go any further, let me say that this formula assumes a desire to reach for new results—without the desire to tap into or discover our potential the formula doesn’t even apply.

An Example

Let’s say that I see a friend, and they tell me that they just ran a 10K race. I tell myself, “I could do that”—I expect that I am capable of running a 10K race. The more I think about this race, telling myself that I could do it, the more I believe my assertions. My belief and expectations begin to create an excitement that leads me to start running. Even when I realize how out of shape I am, my expectations and belief push me to run a little more every day.

Along with my running, I do some other things. I ask other runners about their preparation plans. I pick up a book at the store or library to learn more about running technique. I ask the knowledgeable salesperson in the store about the proper shoes to buy.

Expectations and belief fueled action, and now the action is reinforcing the belief as well. My running expectation has snowballed! I build a plan to compete in a specific 10K race and then complete it.

At the start of this process, when I put this expectation into my mind, my body wasn’t capable of making the 10K—maybe it wasn’t capable of making it to the mailbox! However, the potential was there, latent, waiting to be unleashed. I unleashed the potential by having positive expectations, which created belief, which fueled action, which led to me crossing the finish line of the 10K race. EBA = R.

Be Aware

It is important to note that this formula works for any expectation, positive and uplifting or negative and cynical, so be careful what you expect!

It is equally important to recognize that you can use the formula to help others unleash their potential as well. Your positive expectations and encouragement will help them to generate their own expectations, which allow the formula to work.

In Closing

If we fervently expect that something will happen, then we develop a belief, a true expectancy about that event or circumstance. When we believe, we will take action on those beliefs, and the right action, as we all know, is required to create new results. EBA = R.

Use this formula for yourself. Set your expectations higher! Reinforce those expectations by thinking about them regularly. If you couple that with true belief, you are on your way.

Why not start today?

** This article is one of 101 great articles that were published in 101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life. To get complete details on “101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life”, visit

Author's Bio: 

Kevin Eikenberry is an expert in helping organizations and individuals reach their potential, a best-selling author and internationally known speaker, and the Chief Potential Officer of the Kevin Eikenberry Group. You can learn more about Kevin and how the Kevin Eikenberry Group can help you at To receive a free special report on unleashing your potential, go to or call (317) 387–1424 or 888–LEARNER.