"Hope is the power that gives a person the confidence to step out and try. Develop your confidence by planning, preparing, and expecting to win."
– Zig Ziglar
Every generation will grapple with the complexities of conditions and seek a better tomorrow, while many remain dissatisfied and content with lamenting the hand they're dealt. Leaders envision a better tomorrow turning a deaf ear to the naysayers.
In 2020 John C. Maxwell writes, "This is a time of darkness. But there is reason for incredible hope. We have the tools necessary to turn this moment into an opportunity that helps change the world around us.
What we need are leaders who believe in leaders who learn and live good values in order to lift the people around them. We need leaders who will step to the forefront of the moment and say, with passion and enthusiasm, "If you knew what I know…" and then proceed to offer words and actions that inspire and ignite hope." (1)
Many people struggled to keep hope alive amid the global pandemic that impacted all of us in 2020. While many were mesmerized by the gathering storm clouds, others sought to pull the vision of a brighter tomorrow into the fray, knowing that many would lean into the hope for a better future.
I believe every generation has its share of doomsday prophets; I tend to gravitate toward those with a reason and a plan for a brighter future and hope. Historian Robert Fuller is credited with saying "The darkest hour is just before the dawn." Historically, during some of the darkest times, optimistic voices are heard describing visions of a brighter future. Many breakthroughs are usually being worked on in the darkest of times.
A Better Life Awaits All Who'll Go for It
"Achieving success is a challenge, but so is struggling, so you may as well choose success."
- Rob Liano
A better life awaits anyone who'll lock arms with like-minded people and work toward it. We gradually begin moving society forward without glossing over our missteps and addressing current issues by asking uncomfortable questions and honestly answering them together. Where do you stand? Since its inception, our nation has been facing daunting challenges and has produced many thriving businesses during those difficult times, positively impacting society.
Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, and Mailchimp have something in common, they were berth during recessions and contributed to making life better for all of us. Stephen Mugo Wero writes, "Recessions are an uncomfortable time for entrepreneurs and many startups. Yet they also provide opportunities for entrepreneurs with ideas on services and goods that can help people adapt to a changing world." (2)
What Are You Prepared to Do?
In the untouchables, Sean Connery (playing Malone) asks Keven Costner (playing Elliot Ness) What are you prepared to do? A fitting question for change agents, there's a price to pay for social transformation, everyone involved must answer that question. Contributing to a better future begins with those willing to take a risk and be changed by it.
Valorie Burton poses a similar question, "A better life is calling; are you ready to answer? Consider the current state of your life: your work, your relationships, your accomplishments. Are you in the place you'd hoped or expected to be? Is this the best life you could be living? Or is something missing – something you have not yet discovered or articulated that could lead you to the rich, fulfilling life you desired?" (3)
Hope is a Verb
“Hope is a much-coveted attribute of leadership, there are no buy-ins without it.”
Hope requires informed decisions because it will take us into uncharted territory for the greater good. Hope changes how we think because it requires reimagining life in the future. There are four intentional consequences of directed hope:
1. Hope is a motivator – it inspires creative thinking.
2. Hope deals with realities and practical strategies to meet challenges.
3. Hope enables us to respond from our values instead of emotions.
4. Hope connects with people discovering pathways to a better life.
“Optimism is a passive virtue, hope an active one. It takes no courage to be an optimist, but it takes a great deal of courage to have hope.”
– Jonathan Sacks
(1) Four Signs of a Leader of Hope by John C. Maxwell https://bit.ly/3Dt2cYb
(2) 10 Successful Businesses That Were Started During Economic Downturns https://bit.ly/3moxEzD
(3) Listen to Your Life by Valorie Burton available on Amazon