Anticipation time can help you to plan your life more effectively!

Anticipation time is that time when we are waiting for something to happen.  It is when we know in advance that something will happen.  Whether it is good or bad, when we are anticipating something, it can seem like forever.  Time can move very slowly when we are in an anticipatory mood. Those of us who like to plan may try to control these events.  I have been accused of being overly controlling.  My excuse is that I am a strategic planner and that is my nature. I plan my vacations two to three years ahead. I love the anticipation.
For instance, Karen (my spouse) and I had decided to go to Peru a few years ago. It was fun for me to visualize what it would be like to climb Machu Picchu and to take the train in Peru. I was anticipating that we would take a small boat ride up the Amazon River. In my mind, everything worked fine.  I anticipated no problems.  Guess what. Everything worked exactly as I visualized and anticipated it would.  I planned my first overseas trip twenty five years ago.  Since the first, Karen and I have gone on 20 trips to 33 different countries. Each trip was planned more than two years in advance.  We post pictures of where we want to go, buy books, get maps, contact people, get local newspapers and get more and more excited as the day draws near.  In many ways, our anticipatory time goes very fast.  There are so many details and so much to work out to make sure that everything goes as we anticipate. And so far, all of our trips have gone exactly as planned and each one has been more fun and interesting than the last.  I am now planning a trip to South Africa for next year.
However, regardless of how much we try to control the time in our lives, there are inevitably events we cannot control.  On Monday morning, your boss says “I want to see you in my office on Friday.”  Your annual performance evaluation, an important presentation or an upcoming court date are just a few of the many different events that will create “anticipatory time” in our lives. Some of these events will not be ones that we would choose.  These will create “negative” anticipatory time.  I call this the time we have to wait that is not fun and that creates stress in our lives.  Positive anticipatory time may also go slow but it is time that is fun to think about and where we are anxious for the time to move fast.  In both cases, we want the time to go by but in one case, it is with positive anticipation and the other with negative anticipation.
What do you like to anticipate in your life? Are you in control over your anticipations or do you just go with the flow? Would more planning help you to have more fun with anticipation?  What can you do to minimize the “negative” anticipation in your life?  Are you leading the type of balanced life that helps to minimize stress and problems?  If not, how can you get more balance in your life?  A balanced life will have less negative and more positive anticipatory time. 

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