Are your thoughts helping to build you up, or tear you down? That's the question Lesley Alderman poses in his recent NY Times article on conquering negative thinking. You can think yourself into a spiral of negativity and only see gloom and doom. You can keep moping. You can believe that everyone is out to get you. But at one point or another it's neither fun for yourself nor the people around you. Then it's time to pull yourself up by the bootstraps and do something about it.
When you figure out and formulate what you want, and work towards it, instead of criticizing the present situation or what you currently don't have, you feel more energetic, more invigorated, more satisfied, and more inspired. That's the beginning of hope. Fear and anger can also spur an amazing amount of creative energy if put to good use.
Complacency on the other hand, sitting back and hoping that others will do the work for you, waiting to see what happens, isn't going to get you anywhere. So put out there what you want, imagine it, "be the change you wish to see in the world," and make one small move in that direction today; and another one tomorrow; and the following day. That is intent. That is the only way to initiate change. And it feels good because you make it happen. You are in charge.