How are you feeling these days?
Facebook is a fascinating social experiment. Post Robin Williams, I feel a steady stream of people dealing with anxiety and depression coming forward to tell their story. As stigmatized as this may still be in our society, I often wonder who among us doesn't have some form of anxiety and depression about something at some point in their lives? Most of us dull it via things like drinking or drugs, and simply think that we're just numbing the stress of the day. Still, sharing their stories - in real time - becomes part of a bigger story. It becomes a digital legacy. A story that can be seen and tracked forever by whomever for whatever reason.
Thinking about our kids' kids.
Imagine what the next generation is going to see? Think about the diary-like narrative that all of us will leave for them to see, hear and read. I often think about the Six Pixels of Separation blog, then the podcast and then my Facebook and Twitter feed. It's a moment by moment - blow by blow - of what I'm thinking, doing and taking part in. I'll often forget when something took place, and I'm able to hop over to Instagram and find a photo that captured the moment. It's got the date, time and even who else liked it and commented on it. We're the most documented generation ever... And most of us didn't even have to conquer another people to have our stories told. Amazing. It turns out that George Orwell's 1984 was wrong. It's not (just) the government... it us... we're documenting everything and letting everyone be a part of it.
Back to hope.
With these stories come emotions. We can often tell when people are struggling, and we can see the emotional pendulum that is life swinging in the opposite direction. Some people are very forthcoming with their decisions. Others attempt to veil their emotions, while often making it easy to read between the lines. I read a lot of these posts - some very personal, while others are pieces of business content that are veiled with a lack of optimism. In find myself - quite often - murmuring beneath my breath "don't give up hope." There are moments when it feels like people are simply too negative and can't see the other side.
We've all been there.
There's a reason that the saying, "this too shall pass" has become so popular. It is imperative to always have hope. To always find - within yourself - the power to really think about your capabilities, and what you bring to the world. It's not all bad... And it's not all good. People searching only for happiness are going to lead a very sad life. We have many emotions and chasing only one, is going to lead to an even darker life. Don't believe me? Fine. Read the book, The Happiness Trap, and you will definitely have a better grasp as to why it's so imperative to have hope.
The need to have hope.
The need to have hope is more important than the need to win or the need to be happy. Hope means knowing - even in the darkest of times - that there's something else around the corner. Sweat it out. Stress it out. Whatever it takes. It's imperative to always be hopeful.
It's worth it. You're worth it. Whether you're sharing how you feel or hiding it from the world.