Thursday, January 15, 2009

Hopeless? Not Yet

Sunday morning. Typical ritual for me. Coffee, relaxing music and the New York Times. By the time I finished reading the paper I felt physically beaten down. The news shouted about Israel and Gaza, Russia and the Ukraine, about new conflicts starting in Africa and the continuing tension between India and Pakistan. Pummled by the world I turned to business only to be buried under the avalance of news about bad markets, bad business, and bad people. It was endless. So, I felt myself searching for some sign of hope in all of this bad news.

Our society revels in bad news. Some people claim that it is "reality." Perhaps. But studying great individuals you discover that they thrive in difficult times because they simultaneously see both the current difficulties and a hopeful future. The difference is that they work on the hopeful future. Hope is not just wishing. It is a discipline of establishing a goal, setting the path, and doing everything in your power to succeed.

After I put the paper down I thought of what I hope for in this world. Perhaps this moment can be a turning point. There is a growing distaste globally for violence as a resolution to anything. I hope for more avenues to peace. The partisan war in politics has paralyzed this country. I hope for rational, cooperative politicians to work together to move us forward. Finally, the global financial meltdown highlights that money is not the only answer. I hope we rebuild an economy that focuses more on providing opportunities for everyone to achieve his or her greatness.

Hoping creates energy and drive. It spurs us to move from complaining and worrying to discovering innovative ways to deal with challenges. What do you hope for?

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