July 14, 2011 / LESS IS MORE. MORE IS LESS
July 14, 2011
Not sure about you, but I couldn’t live in a world without hope. A life without optimism, imagination and hope would be like a life without a smart phone. Think about it. We live in a world where individuals and governments are constantly providing the media with opportunities to create a mood of negativity, fear and anxiety, but the one driving force that gives us renewed energy is hope. Hope that situations will improve, that there is a better way. Hope can move us from a negative state of mind to a positive one. It is a gift for moods and a force for change.
I recently heard Dr. Beach deliver a commencement speech at SDSU’s graduation centered around the power of hope. Don’t leave home without it…
The value of hope
Dr. Beach understands the value and meaning of hope at a deep and transformational level because he’s been researching it in all of its manifestations for the past 10 years. But, his journey researching and writing about hope by started by happenstance.
As part of a wider research project, he and his team were studying the reactions of family members during phone calls where they were receiving news from doctors about cancer. Dr. Beach and his team noticed a pattern where bad news always gave rise to good news—to something positive and uplifting—and that the possibility of healing and staying together as a family when facing an uncertain and fearful future gave way to hope. When he extended his research into video-recorded communication between cancer patients and doctors at the Moores UCSD Cancer Center, they observed the same pattern. In the very midst of addressing malignant tumors and metastasis, talk shifted to hopeful possibilities and good news, pointing to the power and presence of hope.
The presence of hope
We can find the presence and guiding light of hope in everyday situations and in the advice and wisdom of many of the world’s finest leaders. San Diego’s Jonas Salk once stated, “Hope lies in dreams, in imagination, and in the courage of those who dare to make dreams into reality”. Martin Luther King Jr. reminded us, “Disappointment is finite, but hope is infinite”, and Bill Cosby once said, “There is hope for the future because God has a sense of humor—and we are funny to God”. John Lennon sang: “Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will be as one”. And a Japanese mother, standing in the rubble, holding the newborn son she gave birth to at the same time the earthquake and tsunami occurred said, “I want my son to be strong and to bring hope to the future of Japan”.
Hope = Optimism + Imagination + Determination
Journeys through life are no doubt filled with troubles, dilemmas, and afflictions. Jobs, training, finances, diverse relationships—these and more await you. Yet it is our greatest challenges that provide the most unique opportunities for growth.
So how can you bring hope to the future and remain feverish with hope? How can you move forward with the realization that hope is not just something in one’s head, or heart, but something done together as we work to accomplish goals, manage troubles and navigate through daily experiences?
There is always hope
Dr. Beach believes that hope is essential as people respond to their calling to be leaders and change-agents capable of improving the world in which we live. If you live with hope at the forefront of your days, you can be that person or company who reassures those in trouble or turmoil that their difficulties will pass, offer encouragement that a better way is not out of reach, and demonstrate to others that you are fully committed to their well being.
Evidence for being hopeful is abundant and lives freely among us. If you learn from your mistakes, if you give as much, if not more, than you receive or if you show compassion to those in need, there is hope.
Hope, in its most powerful form, provides a resource of strength and resolve, that good will eventually arise from bad, certainty from uncertainty, and hope from despair.
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