How often do you assume the worst is going to happen?
Certainly .. this can be a good strategy for having a back-up plan. Don't get me wrong, I am all for being prepared for things not to work out. And yet if we start to tread on the territory of projecting the worst will always happen, then it is far more likely to become our reality.
So my question is - what happens when we create a space for the most amazing thing to happen?
If we leave room for something extraordinary to show up, may times it will. Perhaps the end result doesn't look exactly like we think it will. And we will often be required to make a leap of faith, especially when times aren't looking so hot. Yet when we detach from the outcome and trust the essential core of what we're looking for will be there, I am amazed what takes place.
I've been experimenting with this all week. My experience has been that this attitude can turn a somewhat normal set of days into what feels like marvelous ones. From my observation, it takes a few critical components to end up this way:
Try a week of anticipating miracles. See what shows up for you.
We hesitate at the idea that we used to draw or play an instrument or loved numbers. We wave it off as childish and unpromising as a career, never considering how powerful these inclinations are in manifesting our talents and a potentially great life. Often times, when you hear stories of people making drastic career changes, it usually falls into this category of returning to their inclinations and bringing them back to life."
This quote is pulled from an article on 99U called "The Career Compass: 10 Essential Ideas for Navigating the New Career Landscape." What I love about this passage is that it illustrates the simple truth in that we are born with unique curiosities, an innate pre-disposition toward certain skills and activities. It's no accident, and it is a waste to not pay attention to those cues as we construct our life's path.
Re-connecting with who we've always been, and combining that essence with the experience, skills, truth and talent we've gained across our lifetime is a powerful way to live full of our potential today.
Critical thinking without hope is cynicism, and hope without critical thinking is naïveté." - - Maria Popova
I started my Monday morning off with an incredible "On Being" podcast interview of Maria Popova from Brain Pickings. She dropped a line in her conversation that struck me with it's truth - "critical thinking without hope is cynicism, and hope without critical thinking is naïveté."
Wow. How resounding is that?
Her insight got me thinking about the power of hope. At times that faithful optimism can be ungrounded, disconnected from what is happening in the world, or it is blind to a reality it doesn't want to see. And at the same time hope is an essential ingredient in any kind of progress, innovation, creativity, and leadership that is moving the world forward forward.
Why else would we try anything bold or new if we didn't hold out some form of belief that it can mean something?
Too often our prevailing culture / media fall into cynicism .. we deem hope as naive, fluffy and demote it to the words of cliche speeches. We have to give that gig up, along with our dreams and our own voice.
But hope is in fact courageous, especially when we combine it with critical thinking, as Maria suggests. That is because it is actually more challenging to choose hope in the face of all the negativity we see around us. If we pick hope, that means we cannot give up the fight and just accept the world as it is without having to try doing anything about it. We have to pick ourselves up from our setbacks and keep trying.
A wiser form of hope invites us to say "I see all the struggle, the obstacles, the hurt, the pain around me ... I know that I will most certainly go through all of that myself again ... and still ... I choose to embrace that something inside me that knows there is meaning here, and I can do something about it."
Finding our wise form of hope is insanely difficult, testing, and feels moronic at times. It is a journey to discover it for ourselves, and all the grappling we do to get there will most definitely transform the person we are and what we can accomplish in the world.
Founder of Mind Into Matter and lover of coffee, color, and passport stamps.