by  David Greer  |  Self Leadership

After school I stood in our garage looking up at the rafters with just an hour of light left in the fall day.

Outside the first snowfall of the season had covered the ground with a thin blanket of white goodness. Inside I was bursting with excitement to start skiing for the season.

Not wanting to ruin my new skis, I took down an old pair of wooden skis with cable bindings. I put them on the garage bench, taking down tools to adjust the old bindings to my new ski boots.

I walked over to the ravine two blocks from the house. The four lanes of afternoon traffic on Groat Road roared past below me as I strapped on my old wooden skis at the top of a little goat trail made for hikers. I pushed off on my ancient skis, not caring how dangerous the skinny little trail was. I had been waiting all fall for this moment to arrive. The adrenaline-fueled rush propelled me down that dirt trail barely covered with the skiff of new snow. After months of anticipation I had arrived.

One of the most powerful ways to motivate people is to build resonance around a vision and events that people can anticipate and look forward to. While fear holds us back, resonance propels us forward to a positive happy outcome. We will overcome many fears and challenges when we are focused on the positive experiences that we anticipate as the outcome of our work.

Build anticipation With These Ideas

  1. Paint as vivid a picture as you possibly can about what the future state will look like. As I stood in my parent’s garage, I could actually sense what the motion of sliding down the snow was going to feel like.
  2. Build anticipation for each step along the journey, not just for the final outcome. It is often easier to get everyone sensing and feeling those intermediate successes, then they can sense a huge goal.
  3. Celebrate each win before moving on to the next challenge. Doing this sets the tone, right-sizing the challenges while building trust and connection between all the participants.
  4. Have joy in the process. On that long ago first ski day, I enjoyed the process of walking home from school in the snow, getting out my ski boots, opening the garage, looking for a pair of skis, adjusting the bindings, walking to the ravine, walking home, and putting everything away.

The photo accompanying this article was taken in the back yard of the first house we lived in. I am with my Dad and our old English sheep dog Peter Pan. The pair of wooden skis in my hand may very well have been the ones my teenage self anticipated using. Looking at this photograph reminded me of how much I looked forward to skiing with my Dad when I was a teenager.

What are you looking forward to in 2016?
Photo Credit: Photo Courtesy of David Greer

About The Author

Articles By david-greer
David is the catalyst who gets you to fully live your dreams now. After time with him you feel equally scared and hopeful. Scared at the audacity of your dreams and hopeful because you have someone in your corner with the experience and desire to see your dreams become real.  »  View Profile

What People Are Saying

Mike Henry Sr.  |  28 Jan 2016  |  Reply

David, thanks for a great post. It’s hard to over-emphasize the value of a clear, enticing vision shared among a group of people. Your post is a great reminder and challenge to crystallize the vision when commitment seems to be lacking. Thanks for the post!

David Greer  |  28 Jan 2016  |  Reply

Thanks Mike.

I have learned that the more people can feel, see, taste, smell, and experience the vision you paint, the more they will be pulled towards it. My growth is in improving all my writing so that readers get a deeper personal feeling of what it is I am writing about, including anticipation.



John Smith  |  29 Jan 2016  |  Reply

Hi, David – great and visually evocative post:)

I agree completely that our ability to anticipate can be a source of great pleasure.

Of course, it can also paralyze us with fear, becoming a force for negative outcomes.

You have provided a nice dissection of how a positive anticipation consists of multiple parts, building our forward momentum and good vibes as we go.

Much preferable to awaiting doom with a sense of gloom:) …


David Greer  |  31 Jan 2016  |  Reply

Thanks John.

I hadn’t put much thought into the fear aspect. That’s likely because as an individual and as a coach I typically use resonance to help people reach for their goals and thus overcome fear. Resonance comes from anticipation. If you look forward to something with enough longing, you can blast through amazing obstacles, fearful or otherwise.



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