Essential Walk #9: Hope

Thoughts on Excellence Free E-Newsletter Series
Volume 22, Issue No. 6b
February 15, 2024

By Dan Coughlin


Wisdom and Introspection

In MWD (Merriam-Webster Dictionary) hope is defined as desire accompanied by expectation of or belief in fulfillment.

I like this definition. It implies that if you have hope for something, then you have the expectation that it can be achieved. This is a different meaning then, “I hope to win a $50 million lottery.” That’s more of a pipedream, which is very, very, very unlikely to happen.

Hope is an essential part of your thoughts, emotions, and will. With hope you can stay focused and keep on keeping on. Without hope you will likely give up the pursuit.

I encourage you to hope in a clear and selective way. For example, you can say, “I hope to be a better leader and friend than I am right now,” “I hope to be a better spouse and parent than I am right now,” or, “I hope to make my thoughts, emotions, and will healthier and more focused on virtue and less focused on egotism.” All of these hopes are desires that can be accompanied by a belief in their fulfillment. They can guide your essence in a specific direction, regardless of whether you ever fully achieve them.

On your next Essential Walk I encourage you to be very clear about your hopes. Hope refers to something that you don’t currently have in your life, and you are willing to put in the time and effort to attain it. You have the belief it can be attained, and you very much want to attain it. Hope is like a powerful magnet that can draw out the best of your thoughts, emotions, and will.

It is very important that you focus on and feed your hopes on a regular basis. My suggestion is that you start with your essence, your thoughts, words, and will. By starting there, you can then move outward toward hoping for certain words and actions, and then hoping to achieve certain goals and earn certain rewards.

Hope is about believing something will happen in the future.

If you remain in a constant state of busyness and don’t invest any energy into hoping, then you will likely never move beyond being the person you are right now, both internally and externally.

Essential Walk Questions for You to Consider

  1.  In terms of your essence, what do you hope your thoughts, emotions, and will become, why do you want that, and why do you believe it will happen?
  2. In terms of your relationships with key people, what do you hope they become, why do you want that, and why do you believe it will happen?
  3. In terms of your professional life, what do you hope for, why do you hope for that, and why do you believe it will happen?

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