Anticipation: A Good Thing or a Bad Thing?

When I hear the word anticipation, it makes me think of two things. The first is the old-school Heinz Ketchup commercial. The second is Wayne Gretzky’s famous quote when asked: “How do you score so many goals?”

Let’s take these one at a time and see how they may apply to a greater sense of satisfaction in every-day life.

Anticipation (in the World of Ketchup)

A Heinz Ketchup advertising campaign in the 1970’s used the famous Carly Simon song, “Anticipation,” in all of their TV ads.

“Anticipation, it’s making me wait. It’s keeping me waiting.”

In this context, I choose to look at its meaning as I would the word patience–looking forward to a future occurrence.

The hope for the ketchup is that it eventually comes out of the bottle and onto your food. In every-day life, anticipation is about looking forward to [fill in the blank] — a summer vacation, a new car, going out to dinner with friends, attending a sporting event or concert etc.

But life is not ketchup. And while it’s perfectly understandable to anxiously await your ketchup hitting your burger, that may not be the best way to think about more important things in your life. I believe it is important to enjoy the journey or the process, too, on the way to your destination.

It’s like the old saying, “Stop and smell the roses.” There is greater meaning and a greater sense of satisfaction at the end when you’ve enjoyed the journey.

 Anticipation (from the Mouth of a Hockey Superstar)

Wayne Gretzky, arguably the best hockey player in history, has a very different view on anticipation. He was once asked by a reporter:  “How do you score so many goals?” He famously replied: “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.” In other words, anticipation.

What a great response (and visual) to describe his goal-scoring philosophy. Wayne would put himself in the best possible position, based on his decades of hockey knowledge and game-day experiences, to positively impact a future occurrence. In this case, it usually referred to scoring a goal.

In Wayne Gretzky’s world, it’s important to not only be aware of where you are now, but also where you are going. That’s anticipation in the most productive, positive sense.

So Is It a Good Thing or a Bad Thing?

Anticipation is a part of life. Everyone thinks about the future at one time or another. Sometimes it’s in a good way, and other times it’s in a less productive way.

I believe that the key to happiness and success is finding the right balance between “anticipation” and “presence.” In other words, enjoy today and prepare for tomorrow. It will make for a great journey and an even more satisfying result.

Writing for the Web: 7 Do’s and Don’ts I Learned

I’ve been writing blog posts for three months now. And it’s been an interesting (and educational) experience. Writing for the web is a very different skillset and experience than writing for another medium. And so, I think now may be a good time for me share some very basic lessons I’ve recently learned.

Lessons on Writing for the Web

Lesson #1: Keep humor simple.

I’ve found that humor is difficult for readers “to get” when it’s part of an email or blog post. I think this has a lot to do with how body language and our voice inflections impact or “set-up” the punch line. A good rule of thumb is to keep the humor simple and light. You can’t go wrong that way.

Lesson #2: Be nice.

I’ve found people are turned off by (and tune-out) negative attacks on anyone or anything. After all, what makes anyone think that someone is just dying to spend their free time reading Debbie Downer web posts? News flash: They aren’t.

Lesson #3: Keep your language clean.

I try to stay away from using four-letter word bombs in my writing. It’s been said, and I believe, that it takes more creativity and shows a greater level of intelligence to convey your thoughts or ideas without the use of any four-letter word bombs. Think about it the next time you go into pre-launch mode.

Lesson #4: Make your reader the top priority.

When writing for the web, remember that you already know the subject matter you are writing about. You’re writing because you believe there is value to be gained by sharing this knowledge with others. So, who are you writing for? It’s the reader. Keep that in mind the next time you’re creating an email or post.

Lesson #5: Avoid hot-button issues.

One thing I encourage everyone to stay away from is editorializing about controversial subjects like politics and religion. Why? Because 50% of your reading audience will agree with your point of view and the other 50% are going to think you are a f#@%ing Moron. (I think I may have found an exception to Lesson #3 above).

Lesson #6: Keep the personal personal.

If you like to share explicit pictures, jokes etc. on the web, I would encourage you to be selective and discreet with your postings. Know your audience before you press the PUBLISH key, and ask yourself the following question pre-launch: “Do I really want this person or group of people viewing the post?”

Lesson #7: A Golden Rule for web posting.

I’ve saved what I believe to be a Golden Rule for web posting for last: Everything posted by you or about you on the web is like a bad tattoo … it’s permanent!

You may be thinking that this isn’t fair. I would agree. However, the reality is an innocent mistake or momentary lapse in judgment could have a long-term negative influence on key life decisions, such as applying for college, getting a job, a car loan, a mortgage etc.

Follow these seven lessons when you’re writing for the web, and avoid making some of the mistakes that many others are regretting.

“There’s No Crying in Baseball”: Inspirational Quotes

Just about every popular movie has at least one famous line. (Think: You had me at “hello.”) But some movies have one-liners that are far and away above the rest. You know what I mean … it’s a phrase that not only jumps out at us when we first hear it, but becomes a staple in pop culture and sticks in our minds for years to come. There are so many of these types of inspirational quotes from our favorite films, and I know I’ve turned to more than a few in my times of need.

For this blog, I’m going to go back to the inspirational quote delivered by Tom Hanks in the 1992 baseball movie titled A League of Their Own.

“There’s No Crying in Baseball”

In the scene, one of the baseball players (Evelyn) is called out by the team manager (Jimmy), played by Tom Hanks, after she made an error that allowed the other team to tie the score. As Jimmy is expressing his displeasure with Evelyn’s fielding, she begins to tear up and then starts crying. Jimmy notices this and then says… Are you crying, are you crying…there’s no crying…there’s no crying in baseball.

I believe the point team manager Jimmy is trying to make to Evelyn and her teammates is that errors or mistakes, while not desired, are a part of the game of baseball. Nobody is perfect. What is important, however, is not the physical act of making an error but how the error came about and what the player can do to put themselves in a better position to successfully execute the play the next time the situation occurs. In other words, learning from your mistakes.

What We Can Learn From Inspirational Quotes Like These

This same philosophy can also be applied to a challenging time in your life — whether you’re confronting a major health issue, like cancer, or personal or professional challenge.

I like to use quotes by successful people to reinforce points I’m trying to emphasize so here are a few more of my favorite inspirational quotes on this topic:

  • • “It’s not what happens to you but how you respond to it that matters.” – Epictetus
  • • “It’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get back up.” – Vince Lombardi
  • • “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond to it.” – Lou Holtz


Will each of us experience challenges, obstacles or setbacks from time to time in life? Of course, if you are living life to the fullest. The question becomes, “How will you respond when confronted with a difficult life experience?”

As I see it, we have two choices: you can waste valuable time and energy feeling sorry for yourself (i.e., pout about it), or you can pick yourself up off the floor and direct your efforts toward solving the problem (i.e., kick some a%#!).

Can you guess which one I recommend?