Happiness and Anticipation

Photo by NIPYATA! on Unsplash

Tomorrow is the big day ! May 5th !! Well , yes it is Cinco de Mayo which, by the way I just now in my entire lifetime decided to find out what the holiday is all about, to my dismay it apparently has nothing to do with drinking Mexican beer. Just in case you didn’t know the all knowing Google says this:

“Cinco de Mayo, (Spanish: “Fifth of May”) also called Anniversary of the Battle of Puebla, holiday celebrated in parts of Mexico and the United States in honour of a military victory in 1862 over the French forces of Napoleon III.

So yeah, apparently all those years of history classes pretty much were wasted on me !  Wow , talk about a tangent ! Anyway …  Yes tomorrow is the big day, May 5, 2021 and we are just beside ourselves with anticipation, by now you, the reader are probably attempting to “anticipate” what all this rambling is about ! OK, OK , OK , I’ll tell you what it is that has created all this anticipation ! Tomorrow , May 5, 2021 is the launch of our 10centlemonade.com radio ad ! We are so excited and happy to hopefully have some new followers on our blog, we hope that everybody that visits will find something that will promote personal happiness, moreover we hope that you will share any happiness or happiness techniques that are discovered…  Helping people find and share happiness is our goal !

Anticipation is a strong influence on  mood and happiness , did you get a bit anxious reading and trying to find out what we were anticipating , did you feel a slight irritation that it took so much reading just to find out what it is that we are excited about.  Anticipation has a lot greater influence on happiness than we often realize ! Let’s explore some positive and negative ways anticipation can influence happiness.

Positive ways Anticipation can influence Happiness (in one of my world famous numbered lists) (my dad was an accountant blame it on him)

  1.  Obviously the first example would be our new radio ad !  Anticipation has led to happiness, just the thought of more people finding something/anything here on our blog/website is exhilarating, maybe these are the first words you are reading, maybe you feel the happiness that went into typing THESE VERY WORDS… Wow I can almost feel people smiling !
  2. Find ways to work anticipation into your happiness ! We have all heard the term “enjoy the ride” but in our modern culture we have become used to the idea of immediate satisfaction, the instant reward and gratification deprives us of longer term happiness.  Looking forward to something is a happiness that is becoming lost to many.  I’ll share this story from my childhood as an example.  We weren’t a rich family nor were we poor but as with many young families there wasn’t a lot of resources for extravagance , if you wanted something special then you saved your money, credit cards were not all that common and certainly not to be used just because we had a want.  As my 2 siblings and I got older we were encouraged to save for things we wanted and we did, my brother and I would plan entire summers to save for whatever special thing we thought we couldn’t live without..  We got a lot of happiness out of working to achieve whatever the goal was, what is interesting is that I can only remember one of the many things we saved for but I vividly remember the happiness we got anticipating the reward for our efforts…  The anticipation brought us far more happiness than the material thing we were after ! In current times we have lost a lot of the joy of anticipation !  Don’t think that just because we are no longer kids that anticipation has no ability to spur happiness , I’ll share a very recent example.  Sergio and I have found a lot of joy in gardening , we are blessed to have a small courtyard area that we can landscape as we please. The Houston area had an extraordinary winter storm this year that wiped out pretty much everything so just as soon as spring plants became available we bought all we could afford and a few that honestly stretched our resources.  We are homebodies we don’t go out a lot , we work and spend time at home so home is very important. We had the courtyard looking pretty nice and we needed some fertilizer and maintenance type things so we headed out and while getting the things we needed we both spotted a huge, beautiful plant that we really loved, we aren’t huge spenders and the price tag was pretty steep so we didn’t get it… As the days went on we kept coming back to talking about how nice the plant was and how it would really make our efforts pop, it was joyful , it was happiness, it was anticipation ! What is interesting that it felt exactly the same as an adult as it did as a child , we as adults don’t have that child like wonder very often so recoginize it when it comes ! You know we had to go buy that plant, we made it work but just that few day pause created a lot of anticipation and even more Happiness
  3. I’m just going to sum it all up by sharing a thought that was shared with me and I hope I don’t butcher it . I don’t know who said this or in what context but here are the wisest words you may ever read:

    The Key to creating Daily Happiness is to allow ourselves to be excited and joyful about that which has not yet happened.

    I don’t know how that may make other people feel but I almost feel like this one simple sentence is incredibly powerful and infinitely valuable in finding and sharing our Happiness.  What does this say about people that dismiss others ideas and dreams, to me it seems the equivalence of happiness theft. One of my first blog entries was about happiness thieves , if that concept interests you the entry is here

    At this point lets explore some negative  ways that Anticipation can effect our Happiness (oh joy another numbered list).

1. How many times have we let our happiness be stolen by our past ? Do we anticipate the same result for every discouraging or unhappy moment ? I’m not a psychologist but I can speak first hand about how a negative event can set us up to anticipate things negatively. There is of course a basis in our brain, a survival instinct of sort that tells us for instance that if we touch a hot stove we anticipate getting burned, the problem is that life isn’t a hot stove.  Let me attempt an example, we all know somebody that has been involved in bad relationships to the point of characterizing all men or all women as being bad…  What has happened is that the defense part of our brain has kicked in and this person will rob themselves of a lot of joy because the anticipation is a negative event or outcome and lets face it regardless that negative anticipation is likely to win the day when happiness was a real possibility

2. Anticipation of things outside our comfort zone.  Things outside our comfort zone are generally unknown in terms of specifics so we fill in some of the blanks with our beliefs .  How many times have we gone to a movie or even a social event where we were certain that we would not be happy only to later be glad we went. Or we didn’t go at all because we just knew it would be bad.. What has happened here is we have robbed ourselves of the excitement of something new , we have robbed ourselves of happiness !  Next time you get invited to something that might be out of your normal routine or something you might be unsure of try finding ways to look forward to the event try finding ways to become excite, read , research because often times this initial excitement , this initial curiosity is happiness just waiting to happen. If you still don’t want to go then thats another story but I can almost guarantee you created some happiness regardless !

3 Anticipation has gotten a bad wrap because we no longer know the art of Anticipating positive things,  we have become a culture where whims are instant, anticipation has turned to anxiety as we anticipate doctors visits , bills at the end of the month , Mondays and the like …  Try to anticipate good things , try to anticipate things that aren’t immediately available !

Find ways to use anticipation to your benefit , it really works ! Through anticipation you can create a positive change in yourself , the very feeling of anticipation can deepen and extend positive feelings linked to self esteem , optimism and yes HAPPINESS !

 

Until Next time ,anticipate good things 🙂

Find your Happiness , Share your Happiness

Greg

 

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