Tag Archives: hope

chase the dream

“If you don’t like the world the way it is, you change it.  You have an obligation to change it.  You just do it on step at a time.”   Marian Wright Edelman

If you don’t like the way you are change it.   You have an obligation to improve yourself.  Do it daily.

A powerful story has been written about a woman who has done just that, changed the world, in part from a deep seated dream to do something good for the world and in part from a determination that would not rest.   Jacqueline Novogratz has written that story, a story that started with a “Blue Sweater”.    

Determination and hope forged in the hearts of women in Rwanda are changing their future. 

With determination and hope what could be different in your life?   What obstacles do you have to overcome to touch that dream that has been so closely guarded?

Search for excellence

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore,
is not an act but a habit.”

Aristotle

Not  only is excellence a habit that needs to be developed so are other aspects of our lives.  Each postive aspect needs to be nurtured and developed so that it is a habit.  It might be  integrity, character, honesty, charity, or authenticity, any of these can be cultivated and grown.  The question might be do we attempt to do those things that improve our soul.   Do we spend enough time developing significance or do we spend our time perfecting success?  What is more important to you success or significance?

footsteps in the sand

Imagine walking down a beach and what you see are a crisscross myriad of footsteps. You stop to look at some of them, footprints, footprints of children, footprints of those who wearing shoes, footprints etched deeply in the sand and others that just skim the surface. The waves move in to erase the canvas of footprints.

You put down your foot into the wet sand and you too leave an impression in the sand, your mark on the world an ephemeral mark as the water rises and sweeps up the sandy beach erasing all that was printed there. You notice three footprints – your footprints etched onto this large canvas and they tell your story.

The first footprint is the mark of your values. What is it that you value? What do you care deeply about? Write those values down? Oh, by the way, money is not a value. It is a tool. What are your values? Now that you have them written down, rate them in terms of desired importance in your life from 1 to 10. The value of one indicates that you are not even close to living out this value and a ten is saying out loud that this value is fully being realized. Are you able to live your values?

The second footprint is about your smile. We all can smile but do we? Do we practice smiling? Or, are we not able to smile because of the way we feel about ourselves or others. We have shutdown and stopped smiling. What makes you smile? When was the last time you were able to genuinely smile? You know the kind of smile, the one that is fueled from deep within. It is not the smile we can put on our face, this is a smile that erupts across our face without denial – it appears and you can’t erase it – it is alive. When was the last time you had one of those kinds of smiles?

The third footstep is a hunger for our personal truth. Dante writes, “Midway upon the journey of our life I found myself within a forest dark, For the straightforward pathway had been lost.” This footprint seems to be floating up and out of the sand and before long the print is lost. To seek the right path, to seek our personal truth requires that we be honest with ourselves. How can you find the right path?

Align your attitude with your values. Smile from within. Seek the right path – honestly.

“Our feelings of dissatisfaction, unhappiness, loss of hope and so forth are in fact related to all phenomena. If we do not adopt the right outlook, it is possible that anything and everything could cause us frustration. Yet phenomena are part of reality and we are subject to the laws of existence. So this leaves us only one option: to change our own attitude. By bringing about a change in our outlook towards things and events, all phenomena can become friends or sources of happiness, instead of becoming enemies or sources of frustration.”

“The Dalai Lama’s Book Of Wisdom” (1999)

your hope

Martin Luther King Jr. wrote, “If you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps life moving; you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you go on in spite of it all.”

“No situation, however wretched it seems, but has some sort of comfort attending it” Goldsmith

There is hope. What is yours?

Keep the hope


“Hope is not the closing of your eyes
to the difficulty, the risk,
or the failure.

It is a trust that –
if I fail now –
I shall not fail forever;
and if I am hurt,
I shall be healed.

It is a trust that
life is good,
love is powerful,
and the future is full of promise.”

Anonymous

It is our eyes that need to be opened. It is our eyes that need to see clearly.

What do you see before you? Do you see challenges that can be overcome?

Imagine climbing a mountain and turning back before your first footprint hits the trail because there was a thought that it was too difficult, too challenging or too risky. Take the first step. Take the second step after each step evaluate and consider – can another step be taken? Take it one step at a time.

Dream more

“Promise yourself to dream more and hesitate less.
To believe in yourself more
and judge yourself less by
the accomplishment of others.” Deanna Beisser

Dream more and hesitate less. How is it that our dreams shrink back when we hesitate to turn those dreams into goals and into action? How many opportunities will slip by when we hesitate to take action?

When we hesitate we lose momentum, when we lose momentum we lose the power to create. The waterwheel was used to power 19th century factories and it was the engine of the economy. When the water stopped moving so did the waterwheel and so did the factories.

Hope is the fuel of dreams. Robert Kennedy said, “Each time a person stands up for an idea, or acts to improve the lot others, or strikes out against injustice, (s)he sends forth a ripple of hope, …”. Action is a dream that has momentum. Action is what sees a dream turn into a creative river of possibilities.

Now, sometimes we just need to step back and relax ….

A walk with a dog

Illusions

An excerpt from “the illusionless man” by Allen Wheelis

“Once upon a time there was a man who had no illusions about anything. While still in the crib he had learned that his mother was not always kind; at two he had given up fairies; witches and hobgoblins disappeared from his world at three; at four he knew that rabbits at Easter lay no eggs; and at five on a cold night in December, with a bitter little smile, he said good-bye to Santa Claus. At six when he started school illusions flew from his life like feathers in a windstorm: he discovered that his father was not always brave or even honest, and that presidents are little men, that the Queen of England goes to the bathroom like everybody else, and that his first grade teacher, a pretty round faced young woman with dimples, did not know everything, as he had thought, but thought only of men and did not in fact know much of anything. At eight he could read, and the printed word was a sorcerer at exorcising illusions – only he knew there were no sorcerers. The abyss of hell disappeared into the even larger abyss into which a clear vision was sweeping his beliefs. Happiness was of course a myth; love a fleeting attachment, a dream of enduring selflessness glued onto the instinct of a rabbit. At twelve he dispatched into the night sky his last unheard prayer. As a young man he realized that the most generous act is self-serving, the most disinterested inquiry serves interest; that lies are told by printed words, even by words carved in stone; that art begins with a small “a” like everything else, and that he could not escape the ruin of value by orchestrating a cry of despair into a song of lasting beauty; for beauty passes and deathless art is quite mortal. Of all those people who love illusions he lost more than anyone else, taboo and prescription alike; and as everything became permitted nothing was left worthwhile.”

That is a description of a life that is empty, empty of hope, happiness, joy, and a future.

Find happiness in what you do and in who you are. Seek joy in what you do. Chart a path that is filled with joy and follow it.