I watched a vibrant, healthy, beautiful young girl slip into motionless, emotionless existence. Unable to get out of her bed, the light in her eyes and the spark in her soul grew dim. She had no desire, no ability, to get up, wash her face, comb her hair, or face the day. She had slipped into a dark coma of depression. That’s what hopelessness does.
When your mind says, “give up,” hope whispers, “one more try.” At any given moment, you have the power to say, “This is not how the story is going to end.”
Hope is the anticipation that something good is going to happen. You might have had a setback, but now it’s time for a comeback!
You might not realize it until it’s gone, but hope fuels your life. Like a fully functioning automobile that’s out of gas, you have all the faculties, all the potential in the world for greatness. You can achieve, you can accomplish, and you can effect change. You can move, motivate, and manage. You have a phenomenal capacity to make this world a better place—and enjoy yourself doing it!
Ah, but an essential ingredient for any of this to happen is that you must have hope. Hope is the fuel in your soul tank. Hope gives you something to look forward to. Hope gives you a reason to get up in the morning. Maybe it’s something as simple as hoping to enjoy a date this Friday with your spouse—or someone you secretly hope one day may be your spouse. Maybe it’s hoping you will pass your exam, get a raise, or watch your son play his first game of T-ball. Perhaps you are new in town and hope to make a new friend. The more things you have to hope for, the brighter your day will be.
We talk a lot about love, persistence, faith, diligence, trustworthiness, wisdom, and knowledge—all the things we should seek. All things that we both pursue and display. Yet without hope, we will accomplish none of these things. Hope is essential. We can live on diminished hope just like we can get along with less food, less opportunity, or less comfort. But take away all hope, and we die.
So what can you do to stir up hope? If you want to inspire hope in others, you have to be hopeful yourself. You can’t give away what you don’t have. The good news is, hope is contagious. Have a positive outlook. Constantly comment on the potential that lies just around the corner. If you are the person who focuses on what’s possible, if your glass is always half full, that affects people around you.
You want to change the world? Start changing the world around you by speaking words of hope. Speaking is important. You can have hope in your heart that fuels you. But when you speak words of expectation and affirmation, when you speak about what’s possible, you are changing the atmosphere.
Hope is believing that circumstances will be better. It’s not wishing that things will get better, but an actual belief, even when there may be no evidence that anything will change. Hope can encompass a wide variety of beliefs—hoping for a reconciliation, hoping for safe arrival, a patient hoping to be healed from cancer. Hope is like a muscle: the more you work at it, the stronger it gets! Don’t ever lose hope.
Even within the darkest circumstances of my life—loss of loved ones, divorce, betrayal, and financial disasters—there are rays of hope that can illuminate that darkness.
When you face dark circumstances, be an agent of hope. Make a “Hope List” of things you are looking forward to. If you are having trouble coming up with anything to put on your list, invite a friend or two to help you. Sometimes, if your own hope light is too dim, you lose sight of your own positive potential. There’s no shame in asking others to help you identify things you can look forward to, things that will inspire fresh hope in your heart. Then, as your own hope quotient rises, be the person who speaks about the good that’s possible. Your positive confession, your hopeful commentary, will increase your leadership influence as you positively affect those around you.
Don’t let adversity break you. Instead make it the motivation you need to go on in life. Walk with hope in your heart, and you’ll never walk alone.
“Man can live about forty days without food, about three days without water, about eight minutes without air… but only for one second without hope.”
Hope is written by Marc Mero