In my previous post, I had a question for you.
I noted that between birth and death, we all speak the same esoteric language.
We all understand the basic human needs of every other person who communicates in the universal dialect of food, clothing and shelter; birth, birthright and belonging; self, soul and synergy; seeking, sighting and securing.
But this language… these dialects… all too often, it seems, they confound and confuse.
Rather than create and construct, ours is a species that invests enormous energies into dividing, classifying, racking, stacking, and backtracking on what we have learned in our common-but-massively diverse quest to become better at who we are and what we do.
At some point, I hope you realize there is really only one thing we all need in order to speak up and reach the next level of conversation.
There is really only one thing we all need in order to step up and reach the next level of understanding.
There is really only one thing we all need in order to give up and reach the next level of sacrifice.
There is really only one thing we all need in order to ultimately show up in a manner that reflects the alignment of all of our reSOURCEs.
The question was: What is that ONE thing?
The answer is…
Interestingly enough, Hope is a noun and a verb.
According to one particular definition, Hope is “an optimistic attitude of mind that is based on an expectation of positive outcomes related to events and circumstances in one’s life or the world at large.” This is the definition of Hope expressed as a noun.
Invoking and enacting Hope is an action - a verb - and is actually the first step in acquiring positive outcomes, events and circumstances in our respective lives; this application of the verb Hope has a prolific foundation that can change every life of every person in every city of every country throughout the world.
Accordingly, this application of the verb Hope has prolific implications for you, your co-workers, and your direct reports.
As a leader (and we are ALL leaders), we are often relegated to deciphering massive amounts of data to craft the seemingly best extrinsic rewards on which to bestow our employees.
Perhaps there is an occasional reference to the intrinsic motivations that appeal to the relative few who really **do** love their respective jobs. But most of today’s results-driven, marketplace leadership solutions are rife with carrot-and-stick approaches to a sub-optimized view of the multifaceted challenges of this flat, new world in which we all live.
A better approach focuses on that little noun-verb called “Hope.”
After all, isn’t that what we all want?
Even if things are going swimmingly well, wouldn’t you like to be able to (at least) Hope that things will get (even) better.
And, of course, if things are going especially bad, sometimes all we have is that one noun called Hope… and the simple act of using it… hoping for something better.
Sometimes all we can do is act with that little tiny verb called Hope.
As it turns out, sometimes Hope is all we really and truly need.
In fact, if you were to research the original root meaning of the word “prosper,” which is the root word of “prosperous,” you would discover that “prosper” hails from the Old Latin “pro spere” which means "according to expectation."
And Hope is certainly a healthy form of expectation.
Still, some scholars believe the Old Latin interpretation of Hope is more akin to “according to one’s wishes.”
In other words, a little bit of Hope can go a long ways toward achieving some rather amazing results… perhaps along the lines of making our wishes and dreams come true.
Indeed, if you have Hope, you are already somewhat prosperous.
But without Hope, we are more than merely Hope-less.
Without Hope, we are poor in spirit, spunk, and the specific spark needed to achieve the seemingly unachievable that is, quite possibly, VERY achievable.
In my personal and professional estimation, this is a significant discovery, worthy of sharing with anyone, if not everyone.
...because I am a leader… and you are a leader, too.
You lead yourself. You lead others. And in some profound, perhaps philosophical, universally applied metaphysical way, you also lead me.
Please allow me to return the favor:
As THEE leader of your life, as well as the lives of others, pause and take note of the gravity associated with installing, imbuing, instilling, infusing, and imparting Hope into the lives of others.
As a supervisor, boss, or business owner, you have an almost unmatched ability to alter the inner-worldly space of everyone who works for you.
As an employee, you have an untold wealth of influence upon the people on your team, your block, your community, and within this insanely connected world in which you and I live.
As a parent, child, family member, friend, and foe, you have the power to change the world.
Start with Hope.
A simple, unprovoked smile can literally change someone’s life.
A quick listen will do wonders to repair a broken spirit.
And a simple-but-sincere “Thanx” can actually turn an unhappy employee into one of the hardest working individuals on your team.
Start with Hope.
You’ll be amazed at what you can do with the wealth of unseen prosperity you have innately in the being that is you.
Start with Hope.
Give it whenever and wherever you can.
I assure you, within the last 24 hours, you have crossed paths with someone who was on the scary end of the Hope continuum.
We can be penniless, jobless, and perhaps homeless. And yet, somehow, all is not lost.
Contrarily, one can also be wealthy and employed, living within a crowded mansion, and yet be simultaneously hopeless, hapless, and impossibly alone.
Start with Hope.
See it for what it is: an abundance from within.
And if you doubt the profundity of Hope, please consider this:
In the late 1950s, Curt Paul Richter, a biologist and geneticist at Johns Hopkins University, conducted a series of lab tests and placed two sets of rats into inescapable containers filled with water. The first set of rats swam desperately.
And, acutely aware of their hopeless scenario, this first set of rats drowned within a few minutes.
For the second set of rats, Richter monitored the rodents and repeatedly “rescued” them, saving the rats just as they were about to give up and sink to a watery grave. He gently picked them up, held them for a bit, and then placed them back into the water, albeit with an increased sense of Hope that death was not imminent.
Indeed, the second set of rats ultimately learned the concept of Hope.
As Richter noted, the rats that experienced a brief reprieve swam with greater effort and lasted much longer than the rats that were left alone; they quickly learned that the situation was not actually hopeless.
Indeed, you and I are not rats (though many might say we are caught up in the proverbial “rat race”). However, I reference this true story as an example of the MAGNITUDE of differences, changes, and repercussions that a small smidgen of Hope can imbue.
What was the difference between endurance times for the (hopeless) rats in the first group, and the (hopeful) rats in the second group?
The first (hopeless) set of rats swam for an average of 15 minutes before giving up – and dying.
The second (hopeful) set of rats swam for an average of 60 hours.
Yes… that is not a misprint… 15 MINUTES of survival versus 60 HOURS of endurance, persistence, and outright existence!
Consider the ramifications of this study if there is an implied correlation: with just a little bit of Hope, we can do some rather amazing things. But without the tiniest smidgen of Hope, we have already begun to give up.
Ours is a species that invests enormous energies into dividing, classifying, racking, stacking, and backtracking on what we have already learned in our common-but-massively diverse quest to become better at who we are and what we do.
At some point, I Hope you realize that there is really only one thing we all need in order to speak up and reach that next level of conversation.
There is only one thing we all need in order to step up and reach that next level of understanding.
There is only one thing we all need in order to give up and reach that next level of sacrifice.
There is only one thing we all need in order to ultimately show up in a manner that reflects the alignment of all of our reSOURCEs.
What is that ONE thing?
Hope, my friend, is the ONE thing we ALL need in our quest to become (more) prosperous.
So go ahead:
Speak up when no one else will…
Step up and try to see the other perspective (there are, indeed, many others)…
Give up – and sacrifice a tad bit more…
Show up with Hope; it’s the only way to guarantee that you will find it wherever you may go, be, and see.
And if you find yourself unable to give, find, or share more Hope… contact me.
Together, we will become (more) prosperous.
Accept. Adapt. Achieve! ®