With things changing so rapidly today, knowing how to best prepare ourselves is becoming an important skill to have.
Just like any other skill, the ability to anticipate better can be developed with consistent focus and a commitment to continually improve.
What is Anticipation?
It is often defined as predicting the future before it actually happens. It can be likened to the visualisation of a future event or a way of being.
Anticipation allows us to see what could happen ahead of time so that we can be better prepared to take advantage of any new opportunities or avoid any potential challenges. Naturally, no one can anticipate everything that could possibly happen in the future, however we can put ourselves in a position to respond better to anything that may come up for us.
A recent example is during the Global Financial Crisis in 2008 and 2009. There were millions of people who were affected in a negative way, however there were thousands of people who were able to take advantage of what was happening in the global economy, as Tony Robbins revealed in his book, MONEY Master The Game.
As the law of polarity states, if there is something bad happening, by law, there has to be something good happening as well.
We’ve all suffered loss in life. It could have been from losing in a competition, experiencing financial loss, or losing someone close to us.
Each loss can cause different levels of pain, which can be difficult to overcome.
Losing a material thing or suffering financial loss can be painful temporarily, but with time, we can eventually overcome it. Losing someone valuable, whether it is the breakdown of a relationship or friendship, or the death of someone close, can be more difficult to overcome.
Every loss can either set us back or it can cause us to grow and become better. It all comes down to our perception of every loss.
If we’re willing to look at experiences or events we deem to be losses from different perspectives, we will always find that there are benefits to be gained from them.
Simplicity is very appealing. In our consistently busy lives, most of us are looking for a simple life so that we can have less things to do.
Have you ever stopped to think when was the last time you were actually bored?
We always have something to keep us distracted, from our mobile devices, television, to our computers, social media and the internet.
Having too many things vying for our attention adds to our mental stress and exhaustion, which in turn, makes us less productive and effective.
The idea of getting away and “doing nothing” is very appealing, yet so few people are intentionally taking steps to do it.
When we simplify our lives, we:
- Free up time to dedicate to what matters most.
- Achieve our outcomes faster because we are not being pulled in many directions.
- Are more present and focused on the task at hand.
- Feel more relaxed because we are not overwhelmed with what we have on our plates.
- Tend to be at our best consistently which helps us do our best work.
Even though we all get the same amount of time each day, some people are consistently more productive and effective than others.
How does that happen?
It is not uncommon to hear people say they are “very busy” or they “don’t have time” to do something. The truth is how we deal with or view time is a mindset, plus it is a reflection of our attitude towards what we consider to be important to us.
There is a cost to not using our time better, which can include:
- Feeling overwhelmed and under pressure frequently.
- Not making progress on things important to us.
- Not taking care of ourselves like we know we should.
- Not doing the best we can because we are stressed or overworked.
- Not being able to do the things we really want to and enjoy life more.
- Losing trust with others as we may not meet deadlines or do things we agreed to.
As much as we don’t like to go through difficult times, they are necessary for us to become the person we know we can be.
Depending on how strong we are mentally, low points can either devastate us, or they can elevate us to a new level of understanding, behaviour and performance.
Low points can come in many forms including:
- Health-related challenges.
- Financial challenges.
- Loss of a job or a business failure.
- Losing someone close to us.
- End of a relationship — personally or professionally.
One thing that is certain is we will all face our fair share of challenges or low points in life. How we deal with them will determine who we become and how we think of ourselves, others and the world.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could have great days, every day?
Sometimes, even though we have the best intentions, things happen that cause us to have a bad day. These are the type of situations we want to avoid.
There is something admirable and attractive about people who are focused and just get on with what needs to get done. When they have days that are consistently productive, they feel like winners.
What is a winner?
A winner is someone who:
- Has absolute clarity on what they want to get done each day.
- Has set clear goals for their day, week, month and year.
- Does not let external circumstances distract them what they want to accomplish.
- Focuses on the long term rewards rather than short term pleasures.
- Spreads positivity to others.
If we look back at the past decade, it should not come as a surprise that things are changing at an increasing pace. Never in the history of the world has there been so many major changes that have influenced our way of living, in a short period of time.
A major reason for the speed at which things are changing is the advancement in technology. Every few months there is something new coming into the marketplace that, in previous generations, would have taken years, if not decades, to accomplish.
In order to keep up with an ever-changing world, we have to be consistently developing ourselves and learning new skills. I know some of the things I was doing, even three years ago, are no longer as important or relevant today.
Those who are not willing to develop new skills will:
- Find themselves being left behind by those who are continually developing themselves.
- Find it more difficult to stay relevant in the workplace.
- Experience more frustration or angst at not being able to do something.
- Lack the confidence to attempt new things.
- Feel like they are stuck or drifting though life.
We have or will experience grief at some point in our lives. While we may not want to experience grief, some things in life are beyond our control.
Grief can come in many ways. It can be:
- The death of someone close to us.
- The end of a close relationship or friendship.
- Suffering a major health issue.
- Experiencing a major failure that results in a significant financial loss.
- Something coming to an end like a job, business venture or project.
- Our actions causing significant pain or distress to someone else.
As grief will be something we will experience in life, knowing how to use it in a positive way is extremely valuable.
Are you a people pleaser? Or are you a recovering people pleaser?
One of the most important realisations we can come to is that we are not responsible for pleasing others. As we’re all different, it is okay to accept that no matter what we do or hard we try, we will not please everyone.
When referring to the habit of pleasing others, I do not mean not being supportive or not being there for someone who wants our help. This is about being aware of our needs and ensuring that we give as much attention to what’s important to us as well as fulfilling any obligations we have.
Being in the habit of pleasing others can become unhealthy in situations like:
- Saying “yes” to someone even though we really don’t want to, just so we can keep them happy.
- Not being willing to renegotiate a commitment we’ve made that is no longer serving us.
- Constantly attending to the needs of others at the expense of our health and well-being.
- Having said “no” initially to a request only to be made to feel guilty about it and we end up saying “yes” reluctantly.
It is becoming more and more common to hear people say they’re so busy and they don’t have the time to do things they know they should.
Being busy is like a badge of honour. We’ve programmed ourselves to say were busy just so we can justify to others and ourselves as to why we are not doing some of the things we know we should.
Oftentimes, some of the most important things in life do not require a lot of time but because we’re in a busy mindset, we fail to give them the attention they deserve. Not surprisingly, the most important things in life are often the smallest or simplest things we do everyday.
If we can adopt the mindset that some of our highest priorities does not require a lot of time, we will quickly start noticing a big difference to:
- Our attitude — we won’t feel overwhelmed and under pressure all the time.
- Our mood — we will be a lot more pleasant to be around.
- Our effectiveness — we will be able to focus better because we’ve addressed things that are important to us.
Knowing we are making progress by taking care of important tasks can generate more optimism and lead to positive expectations.