Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Beginning with hope

I have been reading two books lately that say hope matters so much that it is a foundation for both health and achievement. Hope means being able to hold a picture of something good so strongly that you believe in it even when all the evidence is working against you. Hope means believing that one day will be better than this day. Maybe not tomorrow or the next. But one day.

When we talk about someone having "high hopes" we distort the nature of hope. Wishing is not the same as hoping. In fact, it's the precise opposite of hoping. When we wish something we hold onto a picture of it without believing we can make it real. We wish for things when we need a cheap replacement for hope.

Have you found many cheap replacements that really work? Wishing is not an adequate substitute for hope. You need the real thing.

Here's the secret: the people without hope think that it is a gift - either people have it or they do not but there's no way to get it if you do not already have it. They are wrong. Hope is not always a gift: it is a seed. It can live and grow; it can go dormant; it can grow a little and then die. The choices we make determine how much hope we can grow.

If you have read this far, you have enough hope to grow more. If you have hope in one part of your life, you have enough to grow more. If someone close to you has just a little hope, you can grow more.

You just have to make the choice to grow the hope you have.

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