The Meaning of Hope

Posted on Jan 02 2009 by Alistair Barnett in Small Business Life 

“If you feel you know how to get what you want out of life, and you have that desire to make that happen, then you have hope,” Jennifer Cheavens

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about hope. It started the night our new President was elected. I, for the first time in a long time was filled with an overwhelming sense of hope. The deep thread of worry and cynicism I had been holding about how complex and unchangeable our countries problems were was suddenly replaced with the promise of something new, something hopeful.

Now, I realize it’s going to take a lot of hard work to really change the things that are broken, but regardless of what you or I believe politically, if you agree with Obama’s worldview or not, you have to admit that something profound happened. And that something is worth holding onto and nurturing.

I always thought a funny paradox existed within the concept of hope and frankly, I’ve been a bit cynical about it. People seem to strongly believe in either faith or action -they subscribe to the “law of attraction” or believe in bestsellers such as “The Secret”, or they would argue that hope is not the strategy – it’s only what you “do” that’s important. I suppose as a coach, it makes sense I would fall into the latter camp – my work is about helping people take action to make their lives better.

I invite you to try on this version instead – hope and faith ARE the positive result of taking action. You have to develop and live both sides of the equation – hope and action. Hope comes from action and action creates hope. My formerly politically disillusioned 28 year old son said it best the morning after the election when I asked him if he was feeling hopeful for change. He said, “Mom, sure I feel hope, but now we all have to get involved if we want things to change”.

How do you embrace the idea of hope in your life and business? What do you make hope mean for you and how can you more fully develop the positive beliefs and actions that will restore your hopefulness?

It’s YOUR life…imagine the possibilities!