I got this emailed to me via the life script website.
The Power of Hope
As a writer, teacher, therapist, life strategist and an overall observer of the world around me, I’ve found one universal truth: One of the clearest indicators of future success and one of the strongest influences on the human spirit is the presence or absence of hope. Hope is motivation's fuel. Without it, there’s no motivation. For those wanting to restructure their lives and reshape their bodies, hope is an extremely powerful and positive force.
The factors that contribute to success and compel people to continue in the face of opposition has always intrigued me. As a matter of fact, this kind of thinking is precisely what drew me to psychology in the first place. I actually remember what could be my first real psychology moment, if you will.
I don’t remember exactly how old I was, but I was very young and had just finished watching the movie “The Wizard of Oz,” which, to this day, remains one of my favorite stories of all time.
After the movie ended, I was brushing my teeth, when a scene from the movie flashed into my mind and literally froze me in my tracks. It was the scene where Toto pulls the curtain aside and reveals the little old man. As you may recall, he’s standing behind a partition pulling levers, pushing buttons and screaming into the microphone, “I am the great and powerful Oz. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.”
At that moment, I wondered if the body that I saw reflecting back at me was really me or if the real me was behind those eyes somewhere, like the little old man in Oz, pulling levers and pushing buttons that brought life and movement to my body. Quite a heady thought for a young boy, but this was an astounding revelation to me and it was truly a defining moment in my life. For it was at that moment that I realized that who I am is not what I see. This event influenced my career path and continues, to this day, to shape my perception of the world around me.
However, as time passed and I began to seriously study human behavior, I began to see how these two aspects of the self are intimately connected. The physical body that you see reflected back at you in the mirror is defined, motivated and shaped by the thinking part of you inside. So, if you follow my analogy, your body and your life are a literal reflection of what levers you pull and what buttons you push.
It’s the thinking part of you (the manager of your behavior) that makes all the decisions. And it’s those decisions that ultimately create the shape of your body and define the quality of your life. Simply put, your lot in life is the direct result of the choices that you make and the actions that you take. Just as that little old man behind the curtain had the ability to take control of Oz, you also have the ability to take control. It’s all about what buttons you push and what levers you pull. But it all begins with hope.
All of this talk about hope was actually triggered by something my late wife shared with me years ago. She told me that she had found what she believed to be the most inspirational message that she had ever read, written by Ellen Stovall of the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship:
With communication, comes understanding and clarity;
With understanding, fear diminishes;
In the absence of fear, hope emerges;
And in the presence of hope, anything is possible.
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