The Demand of The World

Bill Abbate

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Is it true you get what you demand from the world? Can the case be made for such a concept? What evidence exists that it is true? Let's look at the possibilities.

Do you always get what you demand or expect?

I recently came across an old quote that aroused my curiosity, leading me to ask the above questions. The quote is from an American author, lecturer, and clergyman. He believed ethics, religion, and economics were integral and could not be separated. The quote in part is:

"The world has a way of giving what is demanded of it. If you are frightened and look for failure and poverty, you will get them, no matter how hard you may try to succeed. Lack of faith in yourself, in what life will do for you, cuts you off from the good things of the world. Expect victory and you make victory." Preston Bradley (1888-1983)

Bradley's words ring true, and there is more to his philosophy than meets the eye. Notice he is saying our demand of the world may be active or passive.

It can be passive when we think we are not making a demand on the world, yet this passivity is, in reality, another form of demand. How? Because such a person is frightened, expecting failure and poverty, and lacks faith in themselves, they inadvertently demand the world do what it wishes with them. This is nothing more than a form of passive-aggressive behavior at its root!

Yes, the world does have a way of giving what we demand regardless of who we are and what we may do or not do. What we receive from the world depends on meeting certain conditions. After all, common sense tells us we do not always get what we demand, and we certainly do not always get what we expect. Yet…

There are at least two conditions to check the hypothesis Bradley puts forth. Let's put them to the test.

The two conditions

If you are not familiar with the term "litmus test," it is simply a decisive test based on a single factor. A pass/fail test if you wish.

Let's look at two such tests based on Bradley's statement to see how they help determine the outcome of your demand. Before getting to the simple questions of these tests, I believe Bradley had no intention of misleading anyone in his words. I am sure he was a decent, honest, honorable, and upright individual. With that said, it is up to each of us to grasp the full meaning of his statement. While some of the following may appear to contradict him, you will find their truth by understanding the meaning behind his words.

Test one

A big takeaway from Bradley is what we get comes from how we view the world. If you see the world as a good resource, it will be a good resource. If you see it as a threat or through the eyes of fear, it will give you that as well.

If you think the world is for you, it will be. If you think the world is against you, it will be. The mindset you carry into the world determines what you demand of the world, and the world has a way of giving you what you demand.

The first litmus test is:

  • Do I view the world as for or against me?

The result will follow your answer, which tells you what you demand of the world. The bottom line is what you demand is what you receive, good or bad.

Test two

The second litmus test similarly determines what the world gives when you demand it. This test is not about how you view the world but what you expect from it. This view is not about what but about whom.

This second litmus test is:

  • Does what I demand of the world involve only what I do, or does it involve what someone else does?

When the results you demand from the world depend on expectations of taking action yourself, you control the outcome. But when your expectations depend on someone else, you have no control, and the likelihood of being let down is far greater.

In other words, you can set expectations on what you do, but it is perilous to expect the same result from what someone else may or may not do.

To read more about how expectations can work for or against you, check out this short article: How to Significantly Improve Your Chance of Success in Life.

Final words

By using the above litmus tests, you can determine whether the world will give you what you demand and expect or not.

In summary, the world always gives you what you demand, good, bad, or indifferent. But what you expect the world to give depends on whether it is you or someone else. If it is you, it is possible. If it is someone else, don't count on it.

Bradley's statement will prevail when we have faith in ourselves, viewing the world as a positive place, dependent on what we do. His statement will also prevail when we have little faith in ourselves, view the world as a negative place, and expect others to help.

Bradley ends the quote mentioned above with:

"Nowhere is this truer than in business life, where bravery and faith bring both material and spiritual rewards." Preston Bradley (1888-1983)

In the end, it is up to us, how we view the world, and what we expect from others, that the world will meet our demands. And don't forget the faith component, since in the end, what we get or do not get is ultimately up to God.

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Semi-Retired-Leadership/Executive Coach -Personal & Career Growth Expert -Editor and Leadership Writer at Illumination -Author

Richmond, VA
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