Someday I am going to publish this story, in its entirety. I’m not sure when, but perhaps that’s irrelevant. The relevant portion? It’s that I can’t contain myself, I simply must write this. And so I present to you, a story. My story. A piece of it.
Consider two kinds of people, at opposite ends of a spectrum:
On one hand, we have those who see themselves as living a life of struggle, unfairness, and pain. They feel, at their core, that they can not make a difference. They label themselves as helpless or say they have no ability to influence the powers that be. I know people like this. They’re good people, but they focus on the negative. They perceive the world as being out to get them or something they must get out from under. It’s an adversarial relationship – them vs. everyone – and it colors their view of everything. When something bad happens, it’s just normal – status quo. If something good occurs? It’s a matter of time before it’s all wrong again. They perceive the positive as a signal that something negative is lurking just around the corner.
On the other hand, at the opposite end of this spectrum, there is the person who perceives the world as being full of potential, and life as being a never-ending series of possibilities. This person is infinitely hopeful. They know when something bad is happening, they are not living in denial of reality, but rather than wallow in something that doesn’t serve them, they acknowledge these things exist, continue to work towards their goals, and decide to remain hopeful. When something bad happens it is felt as a bump in the road, a lesson to be acknowledged and internalized. Mistakes are seen as gifts because they offer the opportunity to learn and then this person makes the decision to learn and then to keep moving forward. When something amazing happens, they are grateful.
These two extremes are meant to help illustrate a point, and that point is this: perception is everything. It is how you interface with the world at the most personal, real, and heart-felt level. It is how you feel. How you sense the world. How you interact with it. It is how you dream. How you touch those you connect with in your life. How you are – it’s you. Your perception is powerful. It has the power to change everything, for more people than simply yourself. It impacts everyone you connect with.
I have a lot going on in my life, but I remain hopeful because hope? It’s a light. Light enables us to discover and learn. To seek out truths. To boldly pursue something greater. Just because things exist in life that aren’t completely lovely and happy, does not mean that your life isn’t amazing or that those events don’t stand to offer you valuable lessons!
Your life isn’t defined solely by the things that happen to you, the events. It is so much more than that. It’s the outcomes. What you do with it. What you give to the circumstances you face. The choices you make. The change you create. The passions you chase down. The beliefs you hold and use you guide you. It’s your soul. Your entire being. It’s everything you touch. Your perception guides all of that and perception is governed largely, if not wholly, by choices you make. You choose the way you perceive the world.
I’m not hopeful 100% of the time. I have my moments (sometimes those moments are days…). I can’t be perfect, but I can do this: I can be that person – hopeful – in all of my interactions, with everyone I connect with, when it best serves the situation. I can be hopeful. I can refuse to bow down to the things that I know do not serve me. Or you. And I try. I work at it. But like everyone, I have my moments. I allow myself that. It’s human.
I think that being hopeful requires a lot of courage. Alternatively, the opposite seems to be rooted in a sense of insecurity and/or fear.
How do I know that hope is the right choice? I don’t. How can anyone know for certain? They can’t. I’m ok with that.
All good stories? The ones that are super worthwhile? They start with a decision. Mine was to be hopeful and to see the good in myself and others.