This is the final installment in the 27-post series concerning the principles, mechanics, power and benefits of Energy Leadership as shared by Bruce D. Schneider—founder of the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC)— in his book Energy Leadership: Transforming Your Workplace and Your Life from the Core.
In the previous post, we examined the first of 10 keys to practicing happiness that Bruce shares in his interview “How to Be Unreasonably Happy” (click here to listen to the entire interview).
Today, we consider Bruce’s fourth key to happiness—appreciating variety and anticipation.
For many people, variety is truly the spice of life. Those who complain of boredom often do so because their life lacks variety. Changing your life, even slightly, can go a long way to making you happier. Because change is inevitable, life is change. Knowing how to make change work for you is a valuable key to happiness. Sign up for a class, explore new interests, meet new people and pursue your passion. Set a goal and make it happen!
Happiness is often linked to the ability to “be in the moment.” While worrying tends to generate unhappiness, eager anticipation can be a happiness booster, even though it would appear to be the antithesis of being fully here now.
The anticipation of a future enjoyable event produces expansive anabolic thoughts and feelings—just knowing something exciting is going to happen in the future can help us experience more happiness from now until then. Oddly enough, the anticipation can be more enjoyable than the actual event. Our happiness can be boosted by things we look forward to—events or accomplishments—due to the joy we experience by anticipating them in advance.
Alas, worry about a future event works in a similar fashion, albeit in reverse. Worry produces catabolic thoughts and feelings, generating misery in the interim, even if the dreaded outcome never comes to pass. When you worry, you also experience anticipation in the present moment—but that catabolic anticipation is distracting, draining and debilitating. How much happier might you be if you just let go of worry?
Here’s a bonus insight—you can ruin eager anticipation for yourself too if you put your mind to it. The key is not to become too wedded to hard and fast expectations as to how the happy future event will unfold. When you harbor lofty and exact expectations, your happiness becomes attached to a specific outcome.
Then, even if the future event brings considerable benefits, because it didn’t show up in the exact time and way you expected, you can make yourself miserable by choosing to perceive it as a disappointment or failure rather than a great blessing. Gratefully anticipating what is to come, while letting go of expectations concerning precisely how it will manifest, allows you to be joyful in the here and now while anabolically anticipating the future.
By trying new things and looking forward, without judgment or expectation, to what is to come, you too can be unreasonably happy in every moment. It’s up to you. Your perception is the grand architect of your reality. You always get to design your own experience by whatever you choose to think or feel about what’s going on. Choose your energy: change your life!
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“With the same energy and determination she applied in the professional world, Deborah has taken her considerable expertise in human potential and has now set her sights on the largest co-op in the world, humanity. ‘Choose Your Energy, Change Your Life!’ tackles what I believe are the most important questions we each must ask: who am I, where did I come from, why am I here, and what’s love got to do with it (cue Tina Turner)? These are not trivial or philosophical questions for the answers change what we do, why we do it, who and what we love. I am grateful for the opportunity to walk with Deborah on this critical journey.” JD Messenger, Award Winning Author of “11 Days in May: The Conversation That Will Change Your Life”
“To me the great thing about Deborah’s book is how ‘accessible’ she makes the ideas. The Oxygen Mask is probably the single best example. As with so many of the ideas in the book, she explains the principle in such a simple way that it’s got universal application to virtually any reader. I can imagine people having multiple moments of ‘Oh….I get it!’ throughout the book. The stories from her own life as well as stories of her clients’ experiences become stories about all of us—stories about which the reader will think, ‘I am living my own version of this.’ Well done—bravo!” Joe Calloway, Author of “Be The Best At What Matters Most”