Where is the Power to Face the Future with Courage and Gratitude

The future is inhabited by phantoms. Hoping for clarity, stability, or security amplifies anxiety.

Nostalgia pulls you toward a glamorized past. But the future, like the ghost of Christmas Yet To Come, never speaks.

“Ghost of the Future!” he [Scrooge] exclaimed, “I fear you more than any specter I have seen.” (Pg. 70)

The future is more terrifying than the past or the present.

Mother and infant elephants.

The people around you either strengthen your heart or weaken your knees.


Look toward the future with courage.

The people around you either strengthen your heart or weaken your knees.

Find courage by nurturing connection with those who stay true even when the boat begins filling with water.

  1. Who pushed forward – with you – when the world turned to quicksand?
  2. Who stood on your right and left during past crisis?
  3. Who helped you become who you are?

Find courage knowing that others made a difference for you.

Courage faces the future acknowledging that you make a difference for others because others made a difference for you.


Look toward the future with gratitude, not anxiety.

Gratitude anticipates opportunity. Anxiety anticipates harm.

Gratitude says, “I’m thankful to contribute.” Anxiety dwells on uncertainty. Gratitude views uncertainty as opportunity to rise and make a difference.

Anxiety despises gratitude.

Nothing drains power from anxiety like expressions of gratitude. (Remember that unexpressed gratitude is ungratefulness.)

Gratitude knows you will rise to future challenges just like you rose to past challenges.

Gratitude toward the past enables learning. Gratitude toward the future opens your eyes to opportunity.

3 enemies of gratitude:

  1. Controlling – trying to control things that can’t be controlled.
  2. Resentment – refusing to see advantage in disadvantage.
  3. Negative focus – dwelling on the worst possible outcomes. Dread drains gratitude of resolve.

Future-focused gratitude increases optimism and grit, even though the future is uncertain.

Which seems most relevant to you today, courage or gratitude?

What attributes enable leaders to face an uncertain future with confidence?

Bonus material:

Resilience: face the future with confidence | CABA

How to prepare for the new future of work (fastcompany.com)