One of my favorite things to do is write “thank you” notes, not virtual but paper notes you post by tossing them in one of those big boxes on your street corner. They’re still there. You could say I start each day grateful for being grateful. Another is when I talk to people, I love to look and listen for positivity. So you could say I hope for Hope. And my final confession is I can easily spend an hour or two listening to convocation addresses. This “secret” pleasure helps me aspire to inspire.
Yes, I’m the annoying person who jumps out of bed every morning, not with a partner (happily single) but with hope. When all you have is hope, you jump … you jump for joy, for love, for the next big idea, for whatever the new day brings!
However, for some and understandably so, loss and suffering make it difficult to get out of bed. Some fear having expectations because the disappointments are too big to bear. Some are grateful just ‘having a cup” because asking if your cup is half empty or half full would hurt too much to even ponder. And some start their sentences with “But the problem is ….”
We all have and will continue to experience loss – large losses like losing your identity, your job, your love, your business, your purpose in life and small losses like losing your car keys, forgetting a name, sometimes your smartphone (maybe that’s a large loss). This is what we call living.
Here’s how hope transcends loss. Listen to Sheryl Sandberg’s recent convocation address to the grads at Virginia Tech. Listen with or without judgement. Given Ms. Sandberg’s position of privilege and working as the COO at Facebook, some cynics refuse to acknowledge and sympathize. But we’re all human and when you suddenly lose your life partner, well, I feel very sad and sorry for her loss.
In her convocation address, Ms. Sandberg’s voice quivered and cracked slightly as she gave us a glimpse of her heart still raw and reeling from her loss – tender, emotional, and vulnerable. She continues boldly and brightly, wishing the graduates hope. She showed them the way to find hope:
“Seek shared experiences with all kinds of people. Write shared narratives that create the world you want to live in. Build shared hope in the communities you join and the communities you form. And above all, find gratitude for the gift of life itself and the opportunities it provides for meaning, for joy, and for love.”
The power of hope is about setting expectations and intentions, building dreams, big dreams, and believing you can make and leave the world a better place. “Resilience is a muscle. which we need to build.” says Ms. Sandberg. Why not exercise our resilience muscle first thing in the morning by jumping out of bed? Jump because you’ve been given another day. Jump because you are alive and kicking. And jump because together, we can make a big leap forward.