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Audacity to Hope this Thanksgiving

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imagePrecious is a tough movie to watch.  It is the story of a 350-pound illiterate teenage girl.  She is pregnant for the second time.  But as she says at one point in the film, "I never even had a boyfriend."  Her father abused her sexually and is the father of her children.  She is verbally and physically abused by her mother.  Nobody likes Precious.  She is obese and has little or no self confidence.  But a couple of people give her hope.

When the school Principal learns that Precious is pregnant, she helps her get into a special school.  There, one of the teachers helps her learn, and a social worker helps her deal with her home situation.  With their help, she blossoms.  This is a hopeful movie.  It shows how a teacher and social worker help build Precious' self esteem and give her the courage to live life on her own. 

Precious received a 15-minute standing ovation when it was shown at Cannes.   I wanted to clap when it was over too.

The Blind Side is another movie about hope.  It is the true life story of Michael Oher, a professional football player for the Baltimore Ravens.  He was a very large black teenager living on the streets when he was welcomed into the home of a white conservative suburban family.  Sandra Bullock plays the mother and she is great in the role. 

Michael and the family both grow over the course of the film.  He eventually gets a football scholarship to the University of Mississippi where he becomes and All-American player and a first round draft choice in the NFL.  It too, is a hopeful story.  It shows how one person, or one family, can make all the difference in another person's life.  Michael Oher had great athletic talent that would have been wasted were it not for someone showing him some compassion and giving him some hope.

As these two movies show us, hope is powerful.  In The Audacity of Hope, President Obama (written before he became president) says…

“The audacity of hope.  That was the best of the American spirit, I thought – having the audacity to believe despite all evidence to the contrary that we could restore a sense of community to a nation torn by conflict; the gall to believe that despite personal setbacks, the loss of a job or an illness in the family or a childhood mired in poverty, we had some control – and therefore responsibility – over our own fate.  It was that audacity, I thought, that joined us as one people.”

This Thanksgiving I choose hope.  I am thankful for many things, but I am most thankful for my powerful self confidence.  It gave me the hope to start a consulting business 21 years ago and the hope to expand my business via the internet.  I choose hope.  I choose to be audacious, moving to a new business model when many people my age are retiring.  I urge you to be audacious and choose hope.  Hope begins with being aware of and thankful for all you have.  It helps you move forward by building on those things for which you are thankful.

I also urge you to do whatever you can to give hope to others; your family, your friends, your co-workers, people at your place of worship, strangers.  Hopeful and kind words can make a difference in the lives of people around you. 

Self confidence is one of the keys to personal and professional success that is part of my Common Sense Success System.  I discuss it in several of my books: Straight Talk for Success, Your Success GPS and 42 Rules to Jumpstart your Professional Success

Original author: Bud Bilanich
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Bud Bilanich, The Common Sense Guy, helps individuals, teams and entire organization succeed through applying their common sense. He is an executive coach, motivational speaker, author and blogger. Bilanich is Harvard educated but has a no nonsense approach to his work to goes back to his roots in the steel country of Western Pennsylvania.
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