I recently finished reading Mark Manson's latest bestselling book "Everything is F#cked, A Book About Hope." His central message about why Humans need hope is super relevant to the COVID inflicted world we are currently living in. I feel that we are all living in a state of prolonged uncertainty and as Mason states "uncertainty is the enemy of hope and hope is the fuel for our mental engine".
To be motivated and positive our minds need hope in the same way that our bodies need food and water. If we don't believe there is any hope that the future will be any better than the present we start to feel a sense of hopelessness. "The opposite of happiness is hopelessness". Your first thoughts in the morning and how well you getting out of bed are a good measure of your sense of hope for the day. Prolonged periods of uncertainty and the loss of control of your destiny create fear and a sense that there is little point to your work and efforts. Manson's research has shown that it is this crisis of hope that causes anxiety and depression if it is allowed to prevail.
"Hope and fear cannot occupy the same space at the same time. Invite one to stay." Maya Angelou
It is only natural that you constantly look for hope in what is happening in your life and this is something that always occupies your mind. For many people faith and spirituality is their main souse of hope. Deeply believing in something is very reassuringly and their faith gives them strength and something meaningful to hold onto during rough times. This is where having a sense of purpose is also very important, it gives you a reason to carry on and keeps you moving forward and striving for something better. Manson calls this "finding your hope narrative, what is your psychological carrot at the end of the stick?"
Knowing your hope narrative or your central purpose is all about understanding what is most important to you in life (ie, raising your kids well, creating great art, saving the environment or whatever you find most meaningful) and keeping this as your main focus and source of hope. The 21st century world we live in is the safest and most prosperous humans have every known. But it seems that the better things get the more we have to loose. I am certain that the current uncertain times will pass and the economy will eventually recover. Here are three things that can help us all to rediscover hope and what I am personally focusing on.
- Regaining a sense of control. For me this is all about regaining control of the business finances. It is a very tough time to be running a small business and my main focus is on stability and returning to a more stable and predictable economy.
- Believing in something. My core belief is that constant, hard, productive work is central to a businesses long term success, and I love hard work.
- Belonging to a community. I am blessed that I am part of two strong communities that share the same core values and work together to achieve the same things, my family and the DDB Team.
Thanks for reading,
Stay safe and stay hopeful.