Archive for the ‘Optimism’ Category

I came across an editorial column by David Brooks at The New York Times a couple of months ago and saved it for all these months because of this one statement – “the most important power we have is the power to help select the lens through which we see reality.”

This year is still young (it is only March), spring is around the corner though snow remains, and the US economic recovery is fragile. Yet I sense that individuals are beginning to stand up and purposely choose a new lens of optimism and hope. Daily there are twitter and facebook posts that tell stories of new momentum, renewed hope and break-through renewal. Perhaps now more than ever, the greatest work we are all called to is to claim our power and choose a new lens from which to interpret our reality…whether we currently are:

  • employed and disengaged from our work
  • unemployed and discouraged
  • cynical because of the public behavior of leaders
  • overburdened with crushing debt
  • mired in and overwhelmed by any difficult situation

I write this as someone who is like many of you…I am unemployed and looking for “great work” in a new home state and city; I am struggling to sell a home in an economically-challenged state; and I am watching people I love experience their own job loss and all the challenges that result from such a significant life event.

This post is my commitment to hold fast to the new lens of hope and optimism. I invite you to stand up to claim your power and choose your new lens for 2010.

Note: Below is an excerpt from David Brook’s column…

“We’re all born late. We’re born into history that is well under way. We’re born into cultures, nations and languages that we didn’t choose. On top of that, we’re born with certain brain chemicals and genetic predispositions that we can’t control. We’re thrust into social conditions that we detest. Often, we react in ways we regret even while we’re doing them.

But unlike the other animals, people do have a drive to seek coherence and meaning. We have a need to tell ourselves stories that explain it all. We use these stories to supply the metaphysics, without which life seems pointless and empty.

Among all the things we don’t control, we do have some control over our stories. We do have a conscious say in selecting the narrative we will use to make sense of the world. Individual responsibility is contained in the act of selecting and constantly revising the master narrative we tell about ourselves.

The stories we select help us, in turn, to interpret the world. They guide us to pay attention to certain things and ignore other things. They lead us to see certain things as sacred and other things as disgusting. They are the frameworks that shape our desires and goals. So while story selection may seem vague and intellectual, it’s actually very powerful. The most important power we have is the power to help select the lens through which we see reality.”


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