All Beginnings are Hopeful!

This is actually a quote from the president of Oxford University, spoken to the entering freshman in 1944, in the midst of a world war.  This is a concept that we have seen confirmed throughout history.  In working with people going through change, I am often struck by the discouragement, frustration, and frequent anger and resentment they share. 

I have come to recognize however, that those feelings always tell me that the person is looking backward, at something that has already occurred.  As soon as we are able to create a clear plan for the future, those feelings quickly begin to dissipate and are replaced by hope, optimism and enthusiasm.  In all my years of coaching, I have never seen a person who has a clear plan and goals who is also depressed.  They just don’t go together.

We are now in a new “season” as a country and in starting a New Year.  While there are lots of opinions on the political and economic fronts, it seems to me that people are in general more optimistic and hopeful than they were a couple of months ago.  Saturday Joanne and I stopped to pick up a video cord at Best Buy, and the crowds were heavier than right before Christmas.  I am being overwhelmed with people who want to launch new businesses – releasing ideas they’ve had for years and they are excited that now is the time.  And the anticipation is not just an American phenomenon.  My alanytics show that in this time period —  Jan 19, 2009 – Jan 25, 2009 —  our website was visited by people from 76 countries.  It seems people everywhere are looking for new beginnings.

Viktor Frankl, in his wonderful little book, “Man’s Search for Meaning“, relates his observations of people in the German concentration camps.  Age, health, education or ability could not predict those who survived the atrocities there.  No, rather it was only those who believed that there was something better coming tomorrow who were able to survive and ultimately walk away from those camps.

Feeling discouraged?  Miserable in your job?  Just lost your business?  Draw that proverbial line in the sand.  What appears to be the end is actually a new beginning.  Welcome the new beginning tomorrow!   “All beginnings are hopeful.”


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9 Responses to “All Beginnings are Hopeful!”

  1. Eddy Visser Says:

    I lost my job the fifteenth of December because of a work related injury, I am still disabled from doing my job as a truck driver, and the insurance folks are not making things easier and I can not file for unemployment because of the injury. January fourth I suffered a stroke, I am losing my benefits because I can not afford COBRA. My wife also told me she wants a divorce so now I am living with my brother and basically living on his kindness. Everything hit so hard and all at once that discouragement and depression just took over. How does one break that cycle and look forward to the future to actually make a future. By the way this is not a joke this is all happening to me right now.
    Eddy Visser
    Houston Texas

  2. Dan Miller Says:

    Eddy — oh my goodness! That is certainly too much to bear all at once. You’ve got to break the cycle of nothing but defeats by looking for even little steps of success. We know the old proverb – “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” That’s still true. If you see yourself as defeated you will be. If you believe you can get back up again, you will.

    Start with doing what you can to improve your health. If that’s walking two miles a day, then start with that. Spend at least two hours every day reading or listening to positive, uplifting materials. Severely limit your TV watching — there’s little that is positive there.

    What of my materials do you have? Please send me a note at and let me know privately. And include your address. We’ll send you some materials to help you find your path again.

  3. Glenn Says:

    I’m sorry to hear of all the hardships that have befallen you recently. I too was in a similar situation almost a decade ago. I was injured on the job, lost my career, etc. Things were bleak. I felt hopeless at times. The one main ingredient that got me through it all, besides having an unwavering faith in God, was never giving up no matter what came my way.

    If you follow Dan’s advice, keep your faith in God strong, and never give up, you will get through this and come out a better man.

    I wish for you all the best,

    Glenn A. Weaver
    SoCal, USA

  4. Jerry Fritts Says:

    Eddy, I too was a long distance truck driver for forty years. Began to experience disabling injuries 8 yrs. ago. i did get back to work for 2 yrs. Then after 13 days in hospital in Ca. it seems to have permanently put me down. I haven’t driven in 4 years. Twice i went through the wicked corrupt worker comp system. Too many of the drs. are insurance whores and the lawyers aren’t much better. Btw i am not a worker comp deadbeat, i was Contracter of the Yr for the largest owner operator co. plus won all their production, safety and customer service awards, plus an award that no other driver has been awarded “for always holding us to a higher standard” i am 62 yrs. and driving truck all my life has not prepared me for other jobs. I liked being one of the best in our business. Recently my wife of nearly 40 yrs asked me for a divorce. I am in a “major depression” and in out patient therapy which seems to be helping. I hurt for you because it IS as if you are losing you. I don’t have good answers yet. Intellectually what they are speaking about here is true, but how does a person get to the acceptance. I am a Christian, but that doesn’t always stop the pain. If you want, you may contact me at I am willing to share with you what I have learned regarding the corrupt work injury medical unsystem that is even worse to deal with for a commercial driver because of the dot physical and logistics of the job. God bless Brother!

  5. Eddy Visser Says:

    Thank you all for your words of encouragement and I appreciate all of you who are helping me. I spent two and a half weeks in the hospital and most of that for the treatment of depression at the DePaul center in Waco Texas. The staff there helped me a lot but they could not help me get past the cycle of the feeling of complete loss. The Company I worked for is one of the largest in the nation but unless you are producing money for them you do not exist. I am starting to walk which is still a bit of a problem since some motor skills still need to be retrained. I carried long term disability insurance but they have refused to pay anything because the stroke happened after I was terminated by the trucking company. Since the injury was work related they stated that they had no responsibility for it either. But such is life I guess and I am trying to pull myself up by my boot straps even though I keep being kicked back down by one thing or another, I will not give up. I will not roll over and play dead just because the system is not fair. I can not recall any guarantee issued about life being fair but by the same token I know that I myself must remain true and honest because it does no good for me to become what my enemy already is.
    Eddy Visser

  6. Dan Miller Says:

    I am sending you copies of No More Mondays, the Career Kit containing the 48 Days to the Work You Love hardback and workbook to replace those you may not be able to retrieve. I’m also including an audio CD titled Turning Passions into Profits, and a little book called The Little Book of Big Ideas. Dig in and be confident that you can find your unique path – even with circumstances not being what you would like.

    You last comment here is so important – don’t become what your enemy already is.

  7. Tim Says:

    My story seems insignificant next to Eddy’s story, but I wanted to thank you for your books and advice.

    I was just told last Friday that my job will be transfered to Mexico in July. I am one of those people who would have been willing to work at the same company for 30 years and then retire, although I haven’t been very happy with my job for a while. Since that won’t happen I need to figure out what to do. I just started reading your book No More Mondays. What a great eye opener. It is helping me re-examine my way of thinking regarding employment, the way I think about a job and much more. It has been very encouraging and is helping me get paste the anger, fear and discouragement.

    I have a new baby coming in the next couple of days so in addition to the new job begining, there is the new life coming into my world. Thanks for helping me look at the ending of my job as a New Begining.

  8. Tasha Says:

    Hi Dan!
    A year ago I took your DISC personality test. A month ago my husband and I finished Dave Ramsey’s “Finacial Piece University”. On Monday I finished 48 Day’s till the work you love, and Steve Miller’s Soloman’s Treasures. Thursday I was let go from my Job. This “All Beginnings are hopeful” has come as good timing. Last night I went out with my friends and celebrated my new begining. Today I started reading “No more Monday’s”. Eddy my story is: I spent 8 years struggling to get through college, paying out of my pocket, Finnished; got an awesome job; Hated it! They let me go thursday, Now, I am starting over. My Goal is to make a complete career change. I am now going to Focus on my skills and abilities rather then Money and Big degree. I liked Dan’s Quote in ” No more Monday’s” “You can’t sail to new lands unless you’re willing to lose sight of the shore”.

  9. Eddy Visser Says:

    Tim, No persons story is insignificant the people that are behind the stories are important and that they share their stories is important as well. It is the way we share and help one another that makes the difference between whether we make it through our troubles or not. Congratulations on your new life, and the one that is being added. I know you can make it through anything as long as you keep your faith in God and you are never afraid to ask for help when you need it. I think that is why we are all here and not just for ourselves. Just never give up.
    Eddy Visser

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