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Revisiting Hope

June 2024
— Reading Time: 3 minutes

In a very early blog, Blog 22, I have written about the concept of hope. Today I revisit it, further into living my personal manifesto life, to see what I might have to write now, to add to or consolidate to what I wrote then.

Then, I wrote that hope might be referred to as ‘the antidote to despair’ and that in a Christian context, ‘losing hope is an occasion of sin.’ In Hugh Mackay’s current book, The Way We Are, he writes:

“Dreaming? Hoping? What’s the difference? And what, after all, is the difference between hope and faith? If we have faith in a better future, that’s another way of saying we hope that’s how it will turn out … Life is not about dreams coming true; it’s about daring to dream and then choosing to follow the path illuminated by that dream.”

What a lovely way to think about hoping and dreaming and faith and intentionality. We dream of our future and our place within it, we hope for a better one, and we step onto the path with every intention of making it come into being. This is the hope with which we live each day, and it is this hope that gives us the confidence to believe we can achieve it. This is a brand of faith which I can ascribe to.

 

Maria Sirois in A Short Course in Happiness After Loss, writes:

“Breath is the essence of life. We breathe to stay alive, to nourish the cells and organs of our body, and we breathe as a gesture of hope. It is the doorway to the next moment and from that the next possible future.”

She beautifully expresses the truism, ‘while there is life, there is hope.’ To continue to breathe, essentially, is an act of hope. To use that breath to hope and dream of your preferred future and then to step into it, is a rich use of that breath.

 

Richard Boyatzis, Melvin Smith, and Ellen Van Oosten, in Helping People Change, contributed to the conversation:

“ … discovering one’s personal vision—essentially, an ideal vision of one’s self and one’s future —unleashes positive emotions of hope and excitement that in turn, propels our motivation and appetite for growth and change. Suddenly we believe that something worthwhile and desirable is going to happen. And that hope is propelled by self-efficacy — a belief in our ability to manifest what we set out to do or be — and optimism. So, hope fuelled by self-efficacy means that we not only imagine that good things are about to happen, but we also believe in our ability to achieve them.”

 

The creation of a personal vision, with hope fuelled by self-efficacy, is the way to walk forward in our life. We broker our vision, we choose the language to lay it down, and then we breath into it with all the hope we can muster, and we make it happen.

Wong and Robinson, in My Manifesto, write: “We are confident that your manifesto will build hope.” We do not promise that your personal manifesto will become ‘the guarantee for a perfect you and a perfect life.’ That is not possible in life as we know it; but if it represents a life of one who dares to dream, who with every breath feels hope, and believes that they can make their preferred future possible, that is the hope-building we are talking about!

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