Hopeful is an important characteristic of successful people. Hopeless not so much.
Hopeful leads to confidence and patience and courage and discipline. It allows a person to reasonably invest their resources for a future benefit.
Is it possible that children who do not succeed, people who live in ghettos, and aboriginals who live in remote communities have great difficulty because they have lost hope or maybe never had it?
Could something that simple make such a profound difference?
Here is why it might.
Life is inherently error prone. Most things we start turn out badly for a while. Few people are good at anything the first time they try it and yet some persist.
No one expects to be a competent pianist in an hour or a week. Life is harder. Something causes successful people to go longer. I think it is a belief that the future will be good, that they will be capable some day and there is a known track to follow.
Some people are deprived of persistence because they have seen others give up or because they have not seen the success track. In the ghetto, negative thoughts are everywhere and working the welfare system is the popular success track.
Children and others will not be successful until they realize that success is the byproduct of many bad choices, many dead ends and many false starts. No one fails because of something they cannot do. They fail because they do not seek another way to do it. Sometimes it takes a long time and a lot of work.
People who work in productive ways and who do not accept adversity as the end, cannot fail.
Teach hopefulness. Teach reality. Teach options. Teach methods.
It is all in your mind at the beginning. If you think you can, you might. If you think you can’t you’re right.
Seek examples. There are many people who have succeeded after years of frustration. The life of director Ang Lee provides a worthy lesson.
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Don Shaughnessy is a retired partner in an international public accounting firm and is presently with The Protectors Group, a large personal insurance, employee benefits and investment agency in Peterborough Ontario. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org