When does your journey really begin?
It is very comforting to know every detail of each day after you wake up. However, especially as we get older where have the challenges, excitement, and learning experiences gone? Anticipation might be the answer?
A study done in the Netherlands measured the effect of anticipation for planning vacations with overall happiness and how long it lasts. Over 1500 Dutch adults were monitored of which 1000 took a vacation during the 32-week study period.
The published study in the Applied Research in Quality of Life journal showed that an overwhelming rise in happiness came from the simple act of planning a vacation. The increased happiness lasted for eight weeks.
Lessons learned? Think of ways to do things differently which create expectations. Experience new ideas that cause you to learn and then apply what you learned. Take big scary leaps that cause you to have to plan well in advance creating that wonderful anticipation.
When my son, Brennan, was 11 years old he wanted to know why he could not go on a trip to the wild jungles of New Guinea with his sister and me. I wrote down a list of fifteen of the most horrible things I could imagine that might happen to us on that journey like breaking a leg and still having to walk several weeks to get back to a doctor. He looked at me in surprise and asked, ?What is the fun part??I said, ?The anticipation along the way of meeting with just one tribal man.?
Hope, fear of the unknown, and excitement all woven together create a fourth emotion almost impossible to define. Happiness lies in the imagination, not the event itself and then later returns in the memory.
Whether I am exploring places to meet a new culture, researching ideas for that surprise birthday party or shopping for Christmas presents, the best memories are those of anticipating the event before it actually takes place.
?The expectation of happiness is happiness in itself.?