A Voice of Optimism

Wow. We’re going on the 17th year of this new millennium. My journey of the last sixteen years has led to many conversations, some of which have been inspiring and others a little disconcerting. There is a voice of concern and resignation that I have been repeatedly hearing that seems to be louder than the voice of hope. Many are concerned about the new administration that will soon take office and the myriad global and planetary challenges that we all face. At the heart of these challenges is an uncertain future.

What exacerbates the situation is the huge media juggernaut that bombards us with information most of which is negative. Within seconds we become aware of events and tragedies that have occurred anywhere in the world. It’s difficult to tune them out. This negativity, which is constantly reinforced, colors how we perceive our personal reality and the challenges that we experience in day-to-day living. We wonder how we can find fulfillment on a personal level when there is so much suffering and uncertainty in the world?

When one tends to focus on what’s wrong and what isn’t working they will always find a litany of reasons to justify their concerns.

I am in the camp of the optimists. No matter what is happening in my life or in the world I believe that there will be a better day. In fact I don’t think we have a choice but to be optimistic. This is so even when there is so much suffering in the world.

I think back to the sixties. Not only did our country seem stuck in a senseless war, Vietnam, our country was hopelessly polarized. There seemed to be little hope. What made matters worse was that we were on a collision course in the bigger cold war with the Soviet Union. Numerous pundits and leading edge periodicals predicted a nuclear holocaust with the Soviet Union.

This is what I wrote in a poem back then.

“Should there be a day when the visionaries of peace stop loving, then the prophets of doom will have their day of gloom.”

I have come to the conclusion that feeling bad or hopeless doesn’t help things. Remaining optimistic does. When you are optimistic you have hope and are able to see possibilities that you couldn’t see before.

It’s been estimated by researchers that we think over sixty thousand thoughts in a day, some of which are positive and some negative. The question is which one do we focus on. There’s a Native American Story, which I’ve told before, that reminds me of this point.

A grandfather is discussing with his grandson a tragedy that just occurred.
The grandfather says, “ I feel like I have two wolves fighting in my heart. One is an angry vengeful one and the other is a peaceful loving one.”
The grandson then asks,” Which one is going to win the battle of your heart?”
The grandfather replies, “The one I feed.”

i might add that the peaceful loving voice is also an optimistic one, but one that is constantly challenged. It’s time to be courageous and to reach inside ourselves to tap into a resourcefulness and greatness we never knew was possible. Other generations have been presented with just as great or greater challenges. It’s really an opportunity for each of us to discover more of ourselves than we ever knew existed.

Think of the challenges along the way that have helped you get to this point in your life; the challenges that have inspired you to surpass what you thought was possible.

Think of those courageous souls along the way that have been an inspiration to you. I don’t think we can get enough inspiration in our lives. Be willing to reach out. Initially we have to make a conscious effort to live an inspired life. After a while we become the inspiration which becomes an integral part of our lives.

You know I love to hear from you. Feel free to share this message with those in your circle. FYI the Soul of Uncertainty, a Fable for our Times is coming late in January.



“What a worthy adventure we are on. Our job is to enjoy it, to be ethical and to live life fully.”

The INSPIRE POSSIBILITY blog is dedicated to personal and professional development. Mark Susnow, is an executive-life coach and strategist who inspires others to experience more fulfillment and success in their life. A former trial attorney for 30 years and musician, he integrates what it takes to be successful in the world with the inner wisdom unfolded to him through years of yoga and meditation. He is the author of Dancing on the River: Navigating Life’s Changes and the soon to be released the Soul of Uncertainty. Contact him for a free strategy session. mark@inspirepossibility.com, http://www.inspirepossibility.com

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