I talk and write a lot about what I believe to be the keys to success. Most of the time, I throw the word “real” in front of the word “success.” Or I talk about the keys to success “in the most important roles of your life.”
Ever wonder why?
The reason is because I don’t associate real success with just fame, fortune, or power. Sometimes those things come along with real success, but other times they don’t.
Experiencing true success in the most important roles of our lives has much more to do with character, attitude, and integrity than it does with fame, fortune, or power. In fact, I know of a lot of famous, rich, and even powerful people who I would never consider successful.
At the same time, I personally know people who are not famous, don’t have a lot of money, and are definitely not powerful who I would argue are extremely successful. No matter what life throws their way, they continue to strive for excellence, embrace integrity, and live with character. In other words, they hold true to their values and continue to live lives of hope!
Hope is one of those character traits I often observe in people I consider truly successful. Hope is powerful! It’s inspiring!! It allows people to make the best decisions and live their best lives often in the midst of challenging and even overwhelming circumstances.
Yet hope is hard to define. It’s more than optimism; more than positivity. What exactly is hope?
The best definition I’ve read came from Dr. Asa Andrews book, Empowering Your Health. In it, he quotes Dr. Jerome Groopman, M.D. who practiced hematology and oncology for thirty years. Throughout the years, Dr. Groopman’s patients taught him about the power of hope. Here’s the quote Dr. Andrews uses from the book The Anatomy of Hope:
Hope is one of our central emotions, but we are often at a loss when asked to define it. Many of us confuse hope with optimism, a prevailing attitude that things will turn out for the best. But hope differs from optimism. Hope does not arise from being told to think positively, or from hearing an overly rosy forecast. Hope, unlike optimism, is rooted in unalloyed reality. Although there is no uniform definiteion of hope, I found one that seemed to capture what my patients had taught me. Hope is the elevating feeling we experience when we see—in the mind’s eye—a path to a better future. Hope acknowledges the significant obstacles and deep pitfalls along that path. True hope has no room for delusion.
The power of hope—one of the keys to success we often overlook!
Questions: Have you experienced the power of hope in your life? How?