“Anticipation is wasted energy because your mind is focused on a future event versus the beauty of the present moment, unless you harness the power of it and use it as a force for good.” - Jared Yellin
You probably don’t know this about me…
But I plan really extravagant and adventurous trips only 7-10 days before we leave…
I don’t like anticipation because I find that anticipation is what removes me from my present moment, and my present moment is all that matters.
I think it’s wonderful to be excited about something in the future, but it’s imperative to be wildly enthusiastic about your right here and right now.
How many people do you know LIVE for the weekends?
How many people do you know LIVE for their vacations?
How many people do you know LIVE for their retirement?
All of this is anticipation which literally warps your ability to recognize the glory of what looks you in the eyes daily…
This article is not meant to be preachy, but instead – it’s meant to help you see what might be standing right on your path, but you are overlooking it in anticipation of something in the future.
But Why Is Anticipation A Bad Thing…?
Anticipation is NOT a bad thing…
Anticipation is ACTUALLY a positive feeling…
Anticipation does not steal from your present moment.
Because when your anticipation is perceived as more exciting than your present, then your present gets lost, and your anticipation will always fall short.
How many times has a vacation not been what you had hoped?
How many times has a big launch for your business fallen short?
How many times has a much-anticipated something not been what you expected?
Anticipation is wonderful and special and amazing, but what I have found is that when anticipation either distracts your present or steals joy from an experience, then it’s being weighted poorly.
What if, instead of anticipating a future outcome, you attached this level of enthusiasm to your present accomplishments?
Let me give you an example of a time in my life when I DID NOT practice what I am preaching right now…
In 2013, one of the most sought-after personal development legends filled out a contact us form on my website for marketing services.
My team immediately forwarded this request to me, and I called the phone number referenced - for the sake of maintaining his anonymity, let’s call this person Bruce.
Bruce answered the phone, and I asked if this was really Bruce and his response was…
We then spoke for over an hour, and he told me that a number of people said my marketing agency was the best at what he needed support with, and he wanted to hire us, but before making such a decision - he wanted to meet in person.
We coordinated a trip to Orlando to meet after a large speaking engagement where he was the headliner and spent a full day together breaking bread, strategizing, and realizing this was the perfect synergy.
As the evening was coming to a close, Bruce said, “Let’s shake hands and commit to working together, and here’s my proposal on how…
Option 1: I will pay you $250,000 - a fixed fee - to complete all of the work we discussed
Option 2: I will pay you 20% of all sales”
The work Bruce was referring to was a HUGE information product launch with a webinar, which is where the sale would be made. He expected between $7-10M in revenue, so 20% of that number was FAR more economically impactful than the $250,000 so I very enthusiastically accepted Option 2 and got to work.
The anticipation of what this online event would yield was intoxicating, and it was so much more than the 20% because Bruce also committed to telling all of his personal development legend friends about my firm as long as it went well.
This ONE opportunity would set me/the company up for life, and it became my absolute fanatical focus.
I put 100% of my other projects and responsibilities on the back burner and went ALL-IN!
And everything was absolutely perfect leading up to the pre-recorded webinar.
We had 26,000 registrants.
We had the highest landing page conversion rate Bruce had ever seen.
We had the most beautifully branded content.
We had dozens of Bruce’s friends yearning to be connected with me.
And now it was SHOWTIME.
The ONLY element of this entire launch we did NOT control was the webinar platform, but I spoke with the founder of the company earlier in the day, and he said they were completely ready for us.
The show was set to begin at 8pm and at 8pm 22,314 of the 26,000 registrants clicked the link to watch the webinar and guess what happened…
The webinar platform CRASHED!
The screen went white, and there was literally nothing I could do.
49 minutes later - it turned on, but the 22,314 people who attempted to attend ended up being 1,311 people who actually watched the event, and we did about $1.2M in sales.
A complete and utter flop.
But the bigger issue was the anticipation.
Nearly $2M of performance revenue - LOST!
Nearly 12 people at Bruce’s level - LOST!
Bruce - LOST!
But the even bigger issue…
I shifted 1000% of my focus from what was currently working to the anticipation of this monumental opportunity, and I almost lost the entire company in the process.
Want One More Example of ME NOT Practicing What I am Now Preaching…?!
I will keep this story shorter, but it happened when I first launched SYNDUIT, which happened to have been ONE MONTH after meeting my now wife, Lindsay.
One piece of advice:
NEVER start a new company and a new relationship within one month of each other.
SYNDUIT became a HUGE success and occupied nearly 18-20 hours each day.
So, guess what got almost NO attention?
One evening, I got into bed at 4am and my now fiance poked me and said…
“I feel like I am an inconvenience in your life.”
That sentence represents the destructive nature of anticipation.
I was anticipating all of the success and fame of becoming a legendary entrepreneur and in the process, lost sight of my present reality, which happens to be my driving force in life.
My soon-to-be wife…
My eventual children…
Once again, anticipation can be destructive if not harnessed as a force for good!
How Do You Use Anticipation As A Force For Good?
Here’s what I learned after the two examples above and countless other times when the anticipation for a bigger and brighter future stole the light of my present.
Way #1: To Use Anticipation As A Force For Good - Align It With Your Current Reality
It’s imperative that you always assess how the anticipation aligns with your current reality so it does not steal too much attention, which could lead to what I experienced with Bruce. What I learned from the Bruce situation is that I should have built a dedicated team to focus on that one launch, and the remainder of the team focus on the current reality. I would have overseen both versus completely removing myself from my current reality, which always eliminated my current reality.
Way #2: To Use Anticipation As A Force For Good - Anchor It As A Driving Force When The Going Gets Tough
The going will inevitably get tough - this is not a glass-half-empty mentality - rather, a very realistic statement. Having an anticipation of a bigger and brighter future that is NOT stealing any joy from the present should become the anchor to motivate you to keep on keeping on. Whatever it is that you anticipate should be bigger and brighter than the present because you are an ambitious human yearning for more, so use it as a motivator instead of a distractor.
Way #3: To Use Anticipation As A Force For Good - Give Yourself Permission To Eliminate It If You Change Your Mind
You have the right, permission, and ability to change your mind WHENEVER you want. Similarly to how I quickly eliminated some of my responsibilities at SYNDUIT in order to serve my relationship with Lindsay - YOU CAN + SHOULD do the same if you ever change your mind on the significance or priority of your anticipation.
Way #4: To Use Anticipation As A Force For Good - Center It As A Measurable KPI
Anticipations are great because usually they are measurable, and everyone needs an objective target to hit, so center your anticipation but DO NOT attach an unreasonable time-frame to it. Your anticipation will become destructive if you make it time-bound in such a way that it completely steals your present.
Way #5: To Use Anticipation As A Force For Good - Have Fun With It
Just keep it light and fun - period! Your anticipation should bring joy, excitement, teamwork, energy, and commitment. If you ever feel like your anticipation is becoming too heavy – do something crazy so you get back to a place of joy as you pursue this ambitious outcome!
Give Yourself Some Grace…
Just remember - you're still human, and I guarantee you will make human mistakes with anticipation, but remember this…
Everything you do in life will lead to a WIN or a LESSON. So if it works – CELEBRATE, and if for some reason you fall short – CELEBRATE – because you gained a lesson that will serve you next time.
I am proud of you - now use anticipation as a force for good!
Live with Intention,