I just watched the movie "Bobby," a movie about the assasination of Robert F. Kennedy (RFK) and it's put me in a philosophical mood. The movie was pretty good, but what struck me was the intermingling of actual speeches by RFK. He was truly an idealist and a visionary. The brought hope and a vision of a better future to the people he touched, and is famous for the quote:
"There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why... I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?"
This kind of thinking is what success is made of. By envisioning wild success for ourselves and others, we set in motion a stream of events that changes outcomes. By acting on our beliefs and visions, their power increases.
This is why so many "self help" books start with coming up with an aspiration, vision, or mission, and why so many of us are encouraged to repeat positive affirmations to support our visions.
RFK was a visionary when it came to civil rights, and RFK said a lot about this subject. If your vision is big enough and positive enough (and you share it with enough people), it will live on just as RFK's vision did.
Look for the good
Coincidentally, I re-watched my favorite movie ever with my family Friday night: Pollyanna. It's about the positive impact of one person on an entire town, and it is a wonderful movie.
A great quote from the movie is something from Polyanna's locket:
"When you look for the bad in mankind, expecting to find it, you surely will."
I've heard it put another way by a friend of mine who always says, "Inspect what you expect - you might be getting exactly what you're looking for."