Leading with hope is challenging. I don’t believe there are “hopeful” and “pessimistic people.” Each of us gets to choose our mindset; we decide how we view the world. Our mindset isn’t fixed; we can choose to improve our approach to how we think, feel, and live.
With mindset being an individual choice, each of us is accountable for our own life’s work. Of course, it is easier to be an optimistic leader when things are going well. When our own experiences are negative, when bad things happen to us that are out of our control, maintaining a positive mindset is much more difficult.
One of my life’s mentors is battling stage four cancer. For most, a terminal diagnosis is not only the cause, but permission, to be negative. But for Tim, this battle is what he’s been training for his entire life. His mindset during experimental treatments – when he is physically pushed to a breaking point – is inspirational. Each day is a gift for Tim – an opportunity to do the work.
Without a doubt, life isn’t easy. Bad things happen in our lives – many events we can’t control. Being Hopeful requires practice and repetition; it requires being disciplined. Doing the work is the only path to success.