My art invites you to become part of an unfolding story where curiosity opens doors, creativity flourishes, and hope is our loyal companion. Hope fuels resilience. It is not ‘unbridled optimism’.
It is not an unsubstantiated belief that ‘things will work out’ or ‘it’ll be all right if I just hang in there’. That’s optimism. Optimism is OK but it’s not as useful as hope.
Hope is the ability to see possibilities
Hope is the ability to see that a desired goal is possible. Even if you can’t see the specific steps to get there, hope enables you to approach your goals with the agency to act. Hope enables us to use our creativity and tap into the resources around us to work towards our goals.
Hope is valuable because it’s useful. It drives us towards a better future. Hope is motivating. It’s important to reflect on our practice of cultivating hope.
Art is for workplace innovators
I recently delivered a presentation on the topic of Hope. I spoke at a corporate function, an end-of-year celebration, in a relaxed social setting. It’s inhumanly possible to listen attentively to an hour-long presentation when there are other temptations. So, I shared a sketchbook with some drawings and prompts. They all related to the topic of ‘hope’. I encouraged people to make quick little sketches or jot notes that related to the topic of ‘Hope’. They wrote mantras, song titles, the names of places and their own drawings too.
Art helps us to be more effective at work
Doodling and free-form writing like this may seem like a distraction. In fact, it helps you to concentrate. You enter a more contemplative, open space. This practice helps you to have ‘aha’ moments that enable you to shift your perspective and come up with new ways of dealing with challenges.
Little black book of Hope
After the presentation, I added one more drawing. It’s an image of someone walking towards the horizon, along a stony winding path. They’ve passed by a cairn of rocks. There’s a symbol in the rock. It’s a word, written in Ogham which is an ancient Gaelic written language. Ogham is read vertically from the bottom to the top.
The word is ‘Dóchas’, which is pronounced as ‘Dough-cas’ and it means ‘hope’.
The book belongs to the team that I spoke to. It’s theirs to share, to add to and to take inspiration from.
How to cultivate hope
I’ve learnt through my bumbling that hope is what keeps you moving forward. You have hope when you believe something is possible. You can cultivate it by adopting some of these principles:
- Pursue a meaningful goal
- Expect setbacks and apply your creativity to find hidden opportunities.
- Embrace ambiguity. Walk into it and tomorrow you’ll be elevated to a higher plane of confusion.
- Ask yourself if you could be holding onto a rock that’s weighing you down.
- Find ways to be useful to others.
- Last but not least, cultivate hope by cultivating your support network
Hopeful people have a support network who invest their attention, get behind you, hold you accountable and remind you why you do what you do. If you’re reading this, you’re part of my support network. Thank you for that.
If you have an idea for a collaboration, if you’d like to commission some art, or if you’re curious about art in the workplace, I’d love to hear from you. You can always drop a line