By Richard CEO TheGivingMachine
We have probably all heard those 3 words immortalised in the King James version of the bible but it was while participating in a 30-day Future Self Program(me) from Dr. Benjamin Hardy and listening to him speak that the relevance of these 3 words to our current lives became clearer.
Firstly, I cannot recommend this free programme enough – 30 daily videos and reflections to proactively change yourself, grow as a person and take more responsibility for your own future. You can find out more and register at benjaminhardy.com – his book Personality is Not Permanent is also a great read.
As Ben explains, hope is all about looking forward, actively seeking and creating positive change. If ever there was a time for that, it is now. As I write this article, we are still deep in COVID-19 territory and it is clearer than ever that life will not go back to the way it was any time soon. We need to envisage how we want it to be. This could be about personal aspects like fitness, weight, relationships but also our work lives, business relationships, product lines, income, customers etc. In my own charity, we’ve had to adapt our services and are now seeing good growth in new areas which for us means supporting more good causes to do the amazing things they do to help others.
Hope is about fixing on a positive, better future and reducing, or cutting out, the many negative streams of input out there, especially media news, that will deflect and distract us from seeing the paths to that hopeful future. For so many charities, we have lost essential income and that will mean significant changes to people and services so being positive can be a big challenge. But if you look for opportunity, you can find it in the most unusual places.
I had to back out of a business previously planned arrangement due to COVID-19 now making it impractical. We offered to turn this into a win-win by helping this company replace the projected lost income with another client rather than reducing the conversation to a frustrating commercial discussion. There’s always an opportunity if you look for one. I hope they’ll go for it and will report back.
Once you have a hopeful future situation in mind – Dr. Hardy then goes on to explain, you need to have faith, the belief that there are paths to reach that outcome to make it a reality. You may not know those paths yet, but the mere process of believing that they are there changes the probability you will find them. This sounds mad but our everyday experiences can show this to be true.
Have you ever noticed that when you change the make or type of your car, suddenly you are more tuned to recognising similar cars and there are more of them on the road? Change the colour of your front door and it then seems that loads of other doors now have a similar colour. Well, we know that is not the case – it is just your viewpoint and awareness has changed, not the world around you. Likewise, if you tune yourself to positivity and opportunities, you will see more of them – however, the opposite is true too. Tune yourself to negativity and despair and you’ll see more of that too.
As for the word ‘charity’, most later versions of the quote changed this to ‘love’. To me, love is about wanting the best outcome for yourself and others in a win-win, not win-lose scenario. As a parent, love is wanting the best for your children not necessarily what they always like or what is popular. Why shouldn’t this be part of business ethics as well as personal environments?
I’m talking to myself as much as you when I say let’s make a difference together. Be hopeful, believe that ‘we’ve got this’ – together. As for the challenges in the charity sector, let’s look for the win-win options everywhere we can and create a better future.
Thanks for being the brilliant people you are and stay safe, stay positive.