In a groundbreaking experiment, Robert Rosenthal randomly labeled lab rats as smart or dumb—even though it wasn’t true. The mice labeled “smart” did almost twice as well in mazes as the mice labeled “dumb.” Amazingly, the expectations that researchers had in their heads transferred down to the mice. This happens with humans as well: unwittingly, cues from others can actually get internalized and impact performance. Studies have shown that teacher expectations can raise or lower an IQ score; military expectations can make a solider faster or slower. This is an insightful look at rising to our own occasion instead of someone else’s.