Posts Tagged ‘hope’

“All Beginnings Are Hopeful!”

December 31, 2009

 “All beginnings are hopeful” 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.  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 life coaching, I have never seen a person who has clear plans and goals who is also depressed.  They just don’t go together.

The beginning is the most important part of the work.  — Plato (427 BC – 347 BC), The Republic

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?  Give yourself a new beginning tomorrow!  “All beginnings are hopeful.”

I “hope” this helps

April 11, 2009

We’ve all been hearing a lot about the word “hope” recently.  Some people think it’s an unrealistic approach to the realities of what’s happening.  I agree that hope without a plan is empty.  I was discussing this with one of my pastor friends and he stated that he thought it was cruel to suggest “hope” to someone without offering a plan of action. 

  • What does having “hope” really mean? The dictionary defines “hope” as “looking forward with reasonable confidence.”  And how do we get confidence – by having a clear plan of action.
  • What is our strongest resource in tough times? My Wednesday morning guys said that “to suffer alone is the worst kind of fate.”  But it’s too late to begin reaching out when you’re going under.
  • What can you offer to others who are struggling? Make sure that you are the kind of friend now that you want others to be to you when you’re going through your own tough times.

When you have nothing….

December 22, 2008

Joanne and I are in Chicago for our annual pre-Christmas excursion.  The weather is bitter cold and the streets are not as crowded with shoppers this year.  And the sidewalks have all too many people with quickly constructed cardboard signs who are hoping to capture the sympathy of passing shoppers. 


I saw one sign that said: 

Lost my Job

Lost my Home

Lost my Hope

Please Help


What’s the next step?  Is this really an inevitable sequence?  I was reading this morning about the inventions that are coming out of the slums of Nairobi, Kenya.  The tagline on the story said, “When you have nothing, anything is possible.”


This is a season for hope – not despair.  Hope or optimism is not about denying reality; it’s about seeing the possibilities for creating a better reality than you currently have. 



Yes, I’ve always been accused of being a glass-half-full kind of guy because I really do believe that every problem brings with it the seed of a solution, and I believe that the search for a solution can itself be inspiring and hopeful.  If you lose hope, you will not be looking for solutions and will miss them even it they pass right in front of your nose.


More can be gained by focusing on those talents and gifts you know God has given you.  Focus on what you’re moving to, not what you’re moving from.  Circumstances beyond your control may lead to losing your job and maybe your home – but losing hope is a choice.  Remember, “When you have nothing, anything is possible.”

Free Beer Tomorrow!

February 22, 2008


The sultan of Persia had sentenced two men to death. One of them, knowing how much the sultan loved his stallion, offered to teach the horse to fly within a year in return for his life. The sultan, fancying himself the rider of the only flying horse in the world, agreed. 

The other prisoner looked at his friend in disbelief. “You know horses don’t fly. What made you come up with a crazy idea like that? You’re only postponing the inevitable.” “Not so,” said the first prisoner. “I have actually given myself four chances for freedom. First, the sultan might die during the year. Second, I might die. Third, the horse might die. And fourth-I might teach the horse to fly.”  (from No More Mondays, page 107)

Wow! I like this guy’s thinking. Rather than giving in to victim mentality and acquiescing to his immediate death, with one creative suggestion, he creates four possible outcomes for his future. 

Okay, why the “Free Beer Tomorrow” lead-in?   I always chuckle when I see this popular sign in the window of pubs around the world.  Of course, it’s a joke since it is an eternal promise that is always unfulfilled.  And yet the promise of a better tomorrow is not to be taken lightly.  From concentration camps to the finest academic institutions we see examples of those who can survive horrific circumstances or die in despair in the midst of the finest opportunities known to man.

Without the hope of a brighter future tomorrow we are all doomed.  Many of you are in positions where you can offer hope to those questioning what tomorrow will bring.  Whatever your service, know that it’s not just your brilliant knowledge that people are looking for.  In addition they want to be assured that there will come a better day.

Incidentally I’m not a beer guy – I’ve never had one in my life.  But I like the thought behind this phrase nonetheless.  Don’t be surprised if you see a “Free Beer Tomorrow” sign in my office window — tomorrow!