Are You Living an Anticipatory Life?

by Abigail Wurf

Now and Not Now”

Psychiatrist and author of such ADHD classics, “Driven to Distraction” and “Delivered from Distraction,” Ned Hallowell said at a talk I attended some years ago, that for those affected by ADHD there was “Now, and not now.” Time often does not have the same meaning to us as it does for those not affected by attention difficulties.

Anticipatory Living

His talk led me to start thinking about what I call “Anticipatory Living.” This is living with the future in mind as much of the time as possible. From the simple idea of thinking ahead, to the more complex idea that every action causes some sort of reaction; and while acting to anticipate reactions and their ramifications to the pertinent moment and the future. This allows you to determine how you act in the moment.

Simple to Complex

It can be as basic as checking your calendar and “to do list” for the next day the night before so that you can make sure there will be no surprises that are within your control. It can go as far as pre-emptive behavior modification in the moment.

Are you living an anticipatory life? Thinking not just in the “now,” but also the ramifications of the “now?”

Living on your “Tippy Toes”

I like to think of it as living on my “tippy toes.” That is probably the past dancer in me. The image in my head is of standing at a wall that is my height and acting or saying something. I am only seeing and thinking what is on my side of the wall. But, if I get on my “tippy toes” I can see over the wall, and beyond my current situation.

Seeing that beyond is simultaneously informing me and affecting me as to how I act and/or speak. I can anticipate more the ramifications of my actions and temper them.

It allows me, when I remember to get on my “tippy toes,” that I can be in the present moment and think out how I am shifting my future so that my actions actually get the results I desire.

Abigail Wurf, PCC, M.Ed helps professionals, entrepreneurs, and small business owners affected by ADHD and/or Executive function issues achieve success in business and in life. Located in Washington DC, Abigail works with clients in person, over the phone and over the Internet. Her new book, “Forget Perfect: How to Succeed in Your Profession and Personal Life Even if You Have ADHD,” is loaded with tips to help overwhelmed people get things done and be more strategic about how to live their lives. To receive a free consult from Abigail, make a request through the contact form and she will get back with you to schedule.