A few months back, as my Occupational Adventure blog was languishing and I was struggling to find things I really wanted to explore, I started a blog called HappyRant. Though I've let it lapse for the moment, it was an important step that ultimately helped bring me to this blog.
HappyRant was inspired by my frustration with the constant barrage of toxicity we're inundated with day after day in the media. Here's how I put it in my first post...
If the focus of the media is any indication, the world is one step away from the apocalypse. "If it bleeds, it leads" rules the day. Everywhere I turn I find the toxic message of death and destruction. And personally, I'm sick of it.
Earlier today I went to the CNN website to get a feel for what percentage of the news stories being covered have that negative slant. Today, six of the twelve "top stories" listed on the home page had to do with violence, crime, disease, or tragedy (most of the rest were simply neutral). In their US News section, ten of the twelve main stories had that negative slant. In the World News section, it was fourteen of nineteen.
In a lot of ways, I see the blogosphere reflecting that, with people clubbing each other over the head with rants and rages. The world, it seems, is going straight to hell, and it's all "those other people's" fault. I decided to start a blog focusing on the opposite end of the spectrum and explore the positive side of the world.
I started searching for good news that had compelling energy behind it (which can be challenging to find). I created a blog roll of people whose blog focused primarily on the positive potential of the world and, to the degree that I spent time reading blogs, focused on those.
As I spent time focused on that positive perspective of the world, I noticed what it did to my world view. It reinforced the feeling that there really is a lot of good in the world. There really is cause for hope. And that, in turn, gave me more energy and inspiration to put into being a force for positive change.
I stopped watching television news several years ago because I realized that it added absolutely nothing to my life, and only served to feed a negative perspective of the world. My experience with the HappyRant focus really shone a light on the degree to which our perspective on the world is shaped by what we feed it with.
If we're going to make a positive change in the world, hope is a prerequisite. And that sense of hope can be either fed or depleted by what you choose to let into your brain to begin with.
The question then, is how do you consciously feed that hope? How do you cultivate it, and grow it, so that it shapes your decisions and energizes your action?
I'll be exploring this at length as this blog flows along, but here's a place to start. Two simple questions.
- What information am I choosing to focus on? Does it feed or drain my sense of hope?
- Who do I surround myself with (literally or through reading their blogs, etc.)? Do they feed or drain my sense of hope?
Then, of course, comes the all important step of taking action. What steps can you take to bring more of what feeds that sense of hope into your life? What steps can you take to reduce or eliminate more of what drains it?
The Occupational Adventure Guide:
A Travel Guide to the Career of Your Dreams