Keeping Hope Amongst Fear

Each new year, most of us are filled with hope. Hope is why we celebrate right when the clock strikes midnight on a new year. It’s why we make resolutions. We’re ready to forget the hardships of the previous year and improve our lives.

For many of us, 2020 was a milestone. Not just a new year, but a new decade. For years prior, we looked forward, hopeful that 2020 would be the start of something new. The year things would turn around for the better. Or if you were already on an upward trajectory, things would continue going your way.

Winston Churchill QuoteLittle did we know, we’d be facing a global pandemic in 2020 and our lives will certainly be changed forever. At the moment, there is no end in sight. Projections for the lives that could be lost are staggering. The outlook for the economy is bleak. This is a scary time for many of us throughout the world and it would be easy to dwell in that fear.

But working at Share On Purpose the past eight years has taught me that hope is a powerful tool. One that, if given the attention it deserves, can change your present and your future.

We are a small company with big dreams, yet working towards them has not always been easy. We’ve parted with clients that made up the majority of our revenue. We grew too quickly without the right staff and infrastructure in place to support that growth. We’ve put trust in places we shouldn’t have. All of these missteps set us back on our path to reaching our dreams, but we have always been guided to keep hope.

Keeping hope means we set a certain expectation for how things will work out. We know that we’ll be able to work through whatever obstacle we’re facing and come out stronger on the other side by utilizing the lessons learned. We remain relentless in our belief that things will work out the way we want. The path most certainly isn’t what we thought it’d be, but we choose to believe the end result will be the same.

During difficult times, it can be hard to think about where you’re going and instead, set your attention on your present – your anger, fear and frustration. That’s when you must shift your focus to what is working. Find things to be grateful for. During tough business times, we focused on how our team came together and how we were able to innovate. This made it easier to keep hope.

For everyone who is stuck at home and fearful right now, find reasons to be grateful. Even though we’re physically separated, there’s a stronger sense of connection than I can ever recall before. I’ve spoken with more of my neighbors (from a safe distance) in the past two weeks than I had in the past two years living in my home. My social pages are filled with messages of people offering help to anyone who may need it, even complete strangers. We’re seeing videos from all around the world of communities coming together in unique ways, and even without being present, we feel a part of it. Yes, there is plenty bad, but there is also beauty in this pandemic.

We encourage you all to focus on what is working, finds things to be grateful for, and choose to keep hope.

“May your choices reflect your hope. Not your fear.” – Nelson Mandela

Hopeful for the Future, Grateful for the Past

The time around Thanksgiving is always a gentle reminder of the power of gratitude and the strength in hopefulness.

I’ve heard many people lament 2019. For Share On Purpose, Inc. 2019 represented one of the most challenging periods in our company’s history. The year was just plain hard.

Interestingly enough, our culture was fortified during the most challenging periods in our company’s evolution. And 2019 was no different. Our leaders found strength they didn’t know they had and earned the leadership roles they now proudly hold.

Most of us here are chasing the biggest dream we’ve ever had, and yet this year we were pushed to our limits more than once.

But something inside of us, separately and together, encouraged us to keep going. Although we had much to fear, we always found a reason to hope.

Maybe it’s the vision we hold or the purpose behind it. Maybe’s its intuition or some other divine force. Possibly, it’s the power of perseverance deep within our soul.

Whatever it is, hopefulness is what we choose.

Hopeful is defined as “feeling or inspiring optimism about a future event” – which is how we see our company, regardless of the challenges we experience along the way.

This is important because HOPE is the key to achieving a dream. We must be inspired about a future vision, no matter what the present holds.

Most of us were taught to use external events, as an indication of success. As kids, we’ve heard questions like: “Did you win?” “Did you get an A in your test?” We’ve learned to evaluate our dreams, based on external measures of success.

This doesn’t work. To achieve a dream, we must look past our present reality to the hopefulness of that very dream, while being grateful for what is.

Because I faced extreme poverty and abuse as a child, I developed the power of hopefulness early on, which helped me to look past my immediate challenges to the sheer will to survive.

Rather than look at what was happening for hope, I learned how to shift my perspective to the dream of something different. I saw things the way I wanted them to be, rather than how they were at that moment. I learned to look for the good in everything. And… that filled me with hope.

Today, that hopefulness is now pervasive in our company culture. No matter what happens, our core leaders are able to shift their perspective to the good that can come from the challenge, rather than dwell on the challenge itself.

The truth is, we learn from each challenge we face, so difficulties are part of our growth, and part of how we achieve our dream. For Share On Purpose, challenges are simply a step on the path to reach our ultimate goal – creating a place of possibilities.

It may sound utopian to some, but it’s who we are at our core.

I was reminded of the power of choosing hope recently while watching an amazing movie, The Art of Racing in the Rain. On the surface, the movie is about a race car driver and his very special dog. However, look a little deeper, and you’ll see that the movie is really about the power to focus on what you want to create, rather than let life’s circumstances (in this case rain), control you. It’s one of the most inspiring movies I’ve seen about the power of hope.

As we near Thanksgiving, I’m most grateful for hope.

– Hope that things will improve in our nation

– Hope that there are better times ahead

– Hope that we are a beacon of “possibilities”

– Hope that we attract the best talent

– Hope for profitable growth

– Hope for powerful new concepts to launch

What are you hopeful about? What do you want to create with this life you’ve been given?

If you want to build something great, bring a spirit of hopefulness to your professional endeavors. Anyone can be critical and judgmental, but those who do great things know that hopefulness is THE attribute that produces victory.

Happy Thanksgiving. Be a beacon of hope.

Hopefulness – Your Hidden Super Power

It was the Summer of 2013 and Share On Purpose was failing, even after I’d invested over $1 million dollars and four years of effort.

We were out of cash, had lost our biggest client and did not know if we could make payroll.

It was the most challenging time in our company’s history. Here I was chasing the biggest dream I’d ever had, and still couldn’t make it work.

Even though my business mind said to quit, my heart and soul encouraged me to keep going. Although I felt afraid, my soul was hopeful.

We pulled our six staff members together, two who are still here, and started weekly briefings on our financial status, and more specifically, whether or not they would have a job.

In the midst of this, we were defining our culture and asking them to describe who we were. The words were consistent: Optimistic, Hopeful.

They used these words in the midst of failure, and it was true. We were filled with hope, regardless of the external results.

This is important, not only because it’s part of our cultural fabric, but rather because it’s the key to achieving a dream.

Most of us were taught to use what happens externally as a determination of success.

Messages like: “Did you win?” “Did you get an A in your test?” are pounded into our childhood psyche from early on.

Conversely, because I had grown up in extreme poverty and abuse, I had to learn how to look past the immediate external world to simply find the will to survive.

Rather than look to what was happening around me for hope, I shifted my perspective to the dream of something different. I saw things the way I wanted them to be, rather than what they were. And that filled me with hope.

Today, that hopefulness is now pervasive in our culture. No matter what happens, our core leaders are able to shift their perspective to the good that can come from the challenge, rather than dwell on the challenge itself.

It may sound utopian to some, but it’s who we are at our core. As we near Thanksgiving, I’m most grateful for hope.

– Hope that things will improve in our nation

– Hope that there are better times ahead

– Hope that we are a beacon of “possibilities”

– Hope that we attract the best talent

– Hope for profitable growth

– Hope for powerful new concepts to launch

What are you hopeful about? What do you want to create with this life you’ve been given?

If you want to build something great, bring a spirit of hopefulness to your professional endeavors. Anyone can be critical and judgemental, but those who do great things know that hopefulness is THE attribute that produces victory.

Here’s a quote from the fairy tale “The Ugly Ducking,” that sums it up:

“He now felt glad at having suffered sorrow and trouble, because it enabled him to enjoy so much better all the pleasure and happiness around him.”

Happy Thanksgiving. Be a beacon of hope.