Saturday, January 23, 2010

In anticipation

Anticipation - is a feeling beyond just one associated with waiting for something. What the emotions associated with anticipation are, is dependent on what you're waiting in anticipation for.

According to me, there are 3 main categories of anticipation. One, where the outcome is definitely positive. Like maybe waiting 9 months for your child, or even the wait before a last exam! Over here, the anticipation feels good. You enjoy the wait, although you do wish the wait would end soon, so you can get to the part of enjoying the result of the wait. But the waiting never really hurts!

Then there is the anticipation of something bad. Like waiting for a coworker to come in to work, only for you to have to let him go thereafter. That wait hurts. One, you don't know whether the guy would react. Second, you don't know whether the guy would react like you expect him to! The outcome is decidedly painful, and the wait is even more painful. You desperately wish to get it over with and move on to the more painful part of living with yourself after the task is done!

And the third category of anticipation is the one that hurts the most. And this is the wait for the uncertain outcome! Like the wait for an exam score. Or the wait for the result of an interview. or the first phone call after a date. I could go on and on, the list is perhaps endless. But the wait, you wish never existed! This wait sends your heart on a flutter-spree - (wonder whether such a word even exists). This wait involves a lot of 'what-if' analysis. You dream and imagine - 'well, if I get this score, I can do this and that and that. If he calls me, maybe I should act this way. If I don't get that job, I am up the creek without a paddle. But throughout this painful wait, there is a strong glimmer of hope. You keep waiting, hoping strongly in your heart of hearts that maybe a positive outcome would result. You ask why is this the most painful? Well, because, if the outcome is negative, the wait and the hope all comes crashing down, and any crash hurts like hell!

So while waiting may be nice in some cases, I personally prefer a GMAT style life. Click your last answer and your score pops up in less than 1 minute. No damaged nails, no guzzled caffeine, no frantic phone calls, nothing. Just finish a task, get a result and KEEP MOVING IN LIFE! Life is much too short to waste waiting in anticipation. The electric bulb was never invented in a waiting room. If only various stake holders of our lives would realize that, then the collective productivity of humanity would go up almost a million times! So anticipating a life sans waits...

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