“You cannot be fully human without having hope for tomorrow!”
These words were uttered by Kevin Kelly, founder of Wired magazine, in a podcast interview with (you guessed it) Tim Ferriss. I would be remiss if I didn’t say that Wired is an inordinately innovative magazine published 10 years ahead of its time. When it first appeared in the mid 90’s (I think) it blew me away with its use of color, unique format, and provocative articles.
Kevin Kelly is a dreamer, albeit an unusually wise and different one. He lives a passionate “today,” but always with an eye on tomorrow.
The Power of HOPE
If I were forced to state MY driving force in life in one word, it would undoubtedly be the word, HOPE. Hope for tomorrow. I am diligent about trying to live contentedly today, yet not TOTALLY so. I count on the fact that there will always be a new and exciting tomorrow.
I must admit that, for me, some of this is pathologically driven (which some day I’ll tell you all about—but not now). Still, I am convinced “hope for a better tomorrow” is a fundamental human need.
We all have the disease. We all want something more or new. We hunger for a tomorrow that might fill that unfillable hole lingering in our souls. Ultimately I think it’s a hole that can only be filled by God… but until that day we long for and search for and experiment. If you’re like me you dream, then plan, and then find a way to make it come true. And if you fail you simply move on to the next “new thing.”
A New YOU
I’ve experienced a hugely wide variety of things in my life: from headlines to breadlines and back again. I’ve gone from being a scholarship athlete at UCLA to a full time hippie to a dark decade of no enlightening hope for tomorrow, except for living another day stupidly. An experience with God brought me out of the darkness and into the light in which I discovered my passionate desire for a “great tomorrow.” And you know what? It happened. Not exactly the way I planned, but better. Today, I have a great life.
And so can you!!
I think it has something to do with “learning to be content today without ever being fully satisfied, knowing assuredly that something even better will come along tomorrow.” That’s what hope is all about.
This is the part where you come in. As a reader of this post you are probably already some kind of Difference-Maker. You impact the lives of people around you because you’ve got that “crazy difference-maker gene.” You know, the one that refuses to just settle. You’re not content with an ordinary life. You want something a little different. Perhaps it’s something only you do really well that is not common. You could be a gifted encourager, teacher, friend, architect or who knows what. But you know. You do it today and love it. And… you plan to do it even better tomorrow, with more gusto and increased wisdom.
Or maybe you’re like me. An adventurer that likes to try wild and kinda crazy new things. When I taught myself to paint I couldn’t even draw stick figures. And yet a few years later some people were nuts enough to pay money for my paintings—not for much, but at least they liked them. It would have never happened without an outrageous hope for a new tomorrow. It’s all part of maturing and evolving into the kind of person you never really thought you could be. That’s because the accomplishment of one small dream seems to supply the confidence to entertain a larger, more mysterious and more fun dream.
What Makes You Excited?
I used to set goals and when I did I learned to make “unreasonable” goals that forced me to stretch myself. Although I admire that approach, now instead of goals I ask myself a simple question, “What could I do tomorrow or in a year or even 5 years that could make me EXCITED about my life?”
And you, what could you plan to do in the future that might startle you with a sense of excitement and adventure and awe? You’ve probably never asked yourself that question but think for a second. Doesn’t it give you, in the words of my friend Terry, “gooseflesh?”
We love “being excited” about some thing. The thrill of learning or experiencing or producing something that emerges from deep within your psyche or soul. It’s one of the tremendous benefits of “being human.” Kevin Kelly calls it being “fully human.” I like the fully part. It has something to do with being ALL you can be… and more.
It is Possible
Most of us can’t fully imagine the vastness of our possibilities. It’s weird. So often we dream of being things we are not built to be and it sometimes takes a while to understand that being “all you can be” is a discovery activity. And it is discovered by experimenting with all kinds of cool stuff… which usually takes years. It’s part of becoming wise in the journey of life.
It is important that you get what I am saying in the right context. FIRST, it is essential to be totally immersed and embracing the present. You know the saying, “Wherever you are, be fully there.” Well, it is true. Too many great things go unnoticed in our regular experiences. Shoot, when we are visiting someplace new on holiday half the time we barely see our surroundings because we are so focused on what we are going to see next! Haha. Now, that’s ironically funny! But unfortunately true.
And THEN there are our opportunities to dream. Most of the time the process is not even conscious. It’s like out of nowhere a thought seems to rise up and you think to yourself, “Now that would really be cool.” You ponder it for a while. Then it comes up again… in an hour or a day or a couple weeks. That’s when you begin to believe it’s a dream that’s meant for you.
Too many times you are tempted to pooh-pooh that dream. You think it’s not possible, for you. It’ll take too long or too much money or it’s too big to even think about. Well, that’s when you must ponder it seriously. Fight the demons of self-doubt. Take one small step at a time—but ALWAYS—hold on to that big and exciting hope for tomorrow.
You can do it. I know you can. Too many average people I know personally have done it. I certainly have and I came from a position of deep despair and self-doubt. Those thoughts are freakin devilish. You’ve got to push them aside. Find your bright spot, go to your God (whatever that means to you) and start with the baby steps that lead to consummation of something really, really cool.
Making It So
So, what’s the plan? Let’s make it fun…
- Make a list of 2 new things that would excite you. Just two. But make ‘em cool!
- Ponder them for a while (but not too long). This is your Life Tomorrow.
- Make it so! Start doing something about it. Believe in yourself, even if it’s just a little bit, and start moving forward.
- BUT… don’t forget to treat TODAY like it’s your last!
When You Have Hope for a Great Life Tomorrow
Photo courtesy of zhudifengn at istockphoto.com