Anticipation is Making Me Wait
“An intense anticipation itself transforms possibility into reality; our desires being often but precursors of the things which we are capable of performing.” — Samuel Smiles
I’ve always been an instant gratification kind of guy. When I’m hungry, I want to eat. When I’m thirsty, I want some water. When I’m in traffic, I want to be moving. And when I’m persuading, I want it to work, immediately, if not sooner.
But lately, I’ve been understanding and even enjoying the benefits of delayed gratification and anticipation. In visiting a Latin American country such as the one where I find myself, life does not move at the speed of Starbucks. Life moves with a rhythm and tempo of the people, of the earth, of the seasons. It’s taking a huge internal shift, one which I’m alternately struggling with and relishing as quite enjoyable and expansive. Letting go of the controlled chaos of the big city life of Seattle and its outskirts, and moving into the speed of this life I am now experiencing has been the biggest adjustment and challenge and has expanded my frame of the world immeasurably.
When the air is dense with humidity, the temperature is in the upper 80s, 90s, higher, movement becomes more languid, like you’ve just entered a steam room. You can almost imagine fish swimming by your face in the thick air as you walk through the streets like in a Gabriel Garcia Marquez novel. Siestas become almost mandatory when the sun is at its high point. Work gets done in the morning and at night.
This is not at all a suggestion to slow down or relent any in your persuasion studies or in your work, however, as I suggested in a previous article about getting out of your comfort zone of familiarity, there are also benefits to speeding up or slowing down the tempo of your life to further embed and deepen your learning and expand the frames within which you find yourself.
I had a friend once who told me, ‘I can’t meditate. I’ve just got too much going on in my mind. I don’t think it’s for me to just sit there and not think.’ But when I asked her what she ‘thought’ about when she was on her treadmill or elliptical machine, she said, ‘I don’t think at all.’
It’s a matter of taste, I suppose. Many people are comfortable with the adrenal charged experience of a big city. Many people couldn’t live any place with more than one stop sign and any sign of traffic or commotion sends them into a panic. Some people can switch between worlds and have developed a comfort in all types of settings, and I believe this versatility is the hallmark of a good persuader. Persuasion is truly about being a chameleon and experiencing the differences that places and people have to offer, even if that means slowing yourself down for a time or quickening your pace. This is most definitely a tool that will serve you well to practice with.
So as I take a little bit of my own medicine and develop a taste for anticipation and delayed gratification, I hope you too will challenge yourself with a different pace for periods of time.
Until Next Time,
Kenrick E. Cleveland