Spinning Over the State of the World? This Wisdom from the Best and Brightest is What’s Keeping Us Grounded and Hopeful Right Now
“When times are hard—as the past two years have been—it can be tempting to wish that life would just be flat terrain from here. But to wish away the mountains, first, isn’t possible, and second, risks missing opportunity.”
When we heard these words spoken by University of Michigan Dean Anne Curzan earlier this year, we were left emboldened. Dean Curzan landed on the pulse of our hearts and minds. The world right now feels unsteady, which is why we all need sage sentiments that give us the vigor to move forward.
As we're on the precipice of a break (if you're unfamiliar with our publishing cycle, we refrain from sending out new issues during August to reset and recharge), we've been thinking a lot about inspirational advice at The Sunday Paper. These last 12 months were heavy. Divides seemed to widen. So many people—us included—felt anxious and concerned. We worried about the food we eat, the air we breathe, and the neighbors we live next to. We stressed over the future of our nation and the safety of our souls and bodies. The state of things perpetually left us wondering: How can we find solace and common ground? How can we cultivate hope and optimism?
We focus on many things at The Sunday Paper, all to find the people and stories that will inspire hearts and minds, help you live your wildly authentic life, and move humanity forward. The questions we ask are those we ask ourselves. And this year, they were most often around how to navigate these uncertain times.
As we head out into The Sunday Paper’s month-long publishing sabbatical, we corralled the best insight and advice on how to find your ground, breathe, rest, reset, and tap into your truth. This insight comes from the best and the brightest. These are the sages we turn to when we’re searching for light. Their insights transcend boundaries, time, experience, and age. We’ve relied on this advice this past year to help us stay grounded and steady. Optimistic.
Each message may vary in point of view, yet they all drive toward one of the most beautiful truths: Hope, strength, and beauty are all around us. And most importantly within.
In the spirit of ever-seeking and ever-hoping, here’s wisdom to help you carry forth with strength, hope, and beauty. Thank you for reading The Sunday Paper and for being with us on this wild journey.
We can’t wait to dive into another year with you.
11 Pieces of Wisdom and Advice Keeping Us Hopeful
#1: We need each other.
“Altogether, I believe we make one really well-adjusted person,” says best-selling author Bob Goff. “But we need each other. We really do. How have we gotten to the point of vilifying one another just because we have a different camera angle on life? That becomes a distraction. Instead, let’s make ourselves available to one another.”
Read more of Bob Goff’s wisdom here.
#2: Remember that softness is our superpower.
“I intend to retain and reclaim all that’s soft in me as I step into this next collective moment,” says writer Rowan Mangan. “To stay loving and compassionate and empathetic, and not allow myself to be hardened by hatred. I’m not going to fix a steely gaze on the horizon as I march; I’ll look at the space around me and see who needs help right now, right here. I’ll refuse to become what I despise, and I’ll keep on loving the world until there’s nothing left but love.”
Read more of Rowan Mangan’s insight here.
#3: To face a tough world, we must care for our bodies.
“We can re-energize,” believes Dr. Robin Berzin. “We can find that positivity. You can go from feeling down and fogged and exhausted and over it in one moment to exhilarated and positive and ready for the world, all through the tools that I offer. Sure, that real quick shift might require a dance party to your favorite song. But to shift your physiology—and your physiology determines your psychology—we need to maintain that more sustainable staging, which is about changing the foods we eat, sleeping better, shifting our approach to alcohol, and more. So yes, it's very possible.”
Read more of Dr. Berzin’s insight here.
#4: We need to look at ourselves for a better America.
“How America’s future shakes out is going to take each of us asking what it means to be American,” says Jason Kander, the president of National Expansion at Veterans Community Project. “And I think the next generation wants to ask and answer that question. They care about people who are not like them. And that makes me feel better.”
Read more of Jason Kander’s insight here.
#5: All you need is inside you.
All that we need to navigate this tough world is inside of us, says mindfulness coach George Mumford. “Whatever's coming on, whatever it is in front of us, we must know we have a masterpiece inside. We're wired for success.” So it’s up to us to embrace what comes our way, to say yes to it, and to generate hope. “We have the ability to meet the challenge in a way that's going to be awesome and be uplifting and inspirational for everybody.”
Read more of George Mumford’s advice here.
#6: Self-compassion is a key to a better world.
“With self-compassion, we motivate change from a sense of care,” says Dr. Kristin Neff. “I want to change because I want to be healthy, reach my goals, and be happy. It’s encouragement as opposed to criticism to motivate change. And it’s a lot more effective.”
Read more of Dr. Kristin Neff’s wisdom here.
#7: Life won’t get easier—but we can learn to handle hard better.
“I will get in these modes where I’m like, I just need to get through this, and then everything will be good,” admits Duke Women’s Basketball Coach Kara Lawson. “It can be as simple as once we get through the holiday season to January, stuff's going to settle. Then gosh darn January comes, and it doesn't settle. It never settles.” Understanding that we can handle it is a way to free ourselves, believes Lawson, who says, “We learn to handle hard better.”
“That mental shift for me was super helpful.”
Read and watch more of Kara Lawson’s insight here.
#8: Women need to claim space for one another.
“Unless you are claiming space for all women, you are not claiming space,” writes Eliza van Cort. “[Claiming space] demands solidarity and unity. Approach work and life with an open mind and heart. Listen to, believe, and advocate for other women. When we rise together, we rise so much higher.”
Read more of Eliza van Cort’s wisdom here.
#9: Visualize what you want.
“I am a great believer in visualization and manifestation,” says Dermalogica founder and CEO Jane Wurwand. “Visualize what you want. It’s like looking at a photograph of someone you're meant to meet at the airport. If you have seen it in your mind, you've got a much better chance of recognizing it when it comes to you. If you've never visualized what you want to happen, when an opportunity comes to you, you won’t recognize it because you haven't had it in your mind. Start with that: Visualize what you want. Ask for help from whatever power you think can support you. Stay focused. Don't give up.”
Read more of Jane Wurwand’s insight here.
#10: To receive love we need to give love.
“People die the way they live,” says Rabbi Steve Leder. “If you want to be beautiful in death, be beautiful in life. If you want to be loved in death, love in life. We really do get to choose how we live.”
Read more of Rabbi Steve Leder’s wisdom here.
#11: Embrace the power of yet.
“It’s important to remember what I call the power of yet,” says author and leadership coach Sanyin Siang. “As we move forward, we tend to play our mistakes over and over in our heads—but we don’t have to be shackled by them. I love this reframing of a Martin Luther quote: “We are not yet whom we shall become.” I also think we don’t have to be who we used to be. We can be better! The real failure is not changing, evolving, or growing."
Read more of Sanyin Siang’s wisdom here.