Hope Floats … Temporarily

Hope sometimes gets a bad rap in self-development circles.

Our culture is way too heavily influenced by parental programming, cautioning us not to get our hopes up.

I think that hope is an essential prerequisite for all new business creators.

Despair, disbelief, discouragement and pessimism are all antonyms for hope. Could you even consider starting a new business from that mindset? I know I couldn’t.

Childhood is what you spend the rest of your life trying to overcome. That’s what momma always says. She says that beginnings are scary, endings are usually sad, but it’s the middle that counts the most. Try to remember that when you find yourself at a new beginning. Just give hope a chance to float up. And it will… Sandra Bullock as Birdee Pruitt in the movie Hope Floats.

How glorious it would have been to have such an encouraging mom.

Her momma knew that hope provides a necessary lift of positive expectancy.

Hope is the glue that bonds ideas to action.

Hope is the bridge between authenticity and prosperity. In the early days of new business development there is little else to hold onto when actual results are scarce.

Yet you’ll starve if hope is the only staple in your encouragement diet. Hope by nature is fleeting and provides only temporary sustenance. At some point you must act in order to experience actual, not just imagined, movement.

Yes hope floats! Hope works because it stimulates our original inspiration. This gift is our natural desire of authentic expression within.

But inspiration must be harnessed within a certain period of time, before your “realistic” mind, begins over-thinking your lack of results and your dominant thought becomes self-doubt.

In my career and new business development coaching, this realization is missing for those folks who always feel as though they have too many interests to select one idea.

So they remain suffering within the safety of an endless loop of temporary inspiration and non-action, while hoping that the next idea will have enough lift to be their one true calling.

I’ve also seen this fruitless cycle perpetuated by long time self-help book readers, who mistake end of the book anxiety as the tension-relieving call to get lost within the next book.

But that anxiety is really your call to action. End-of-the-book anxiety is the same anxiety that calls you when your hope is about to expire. Right there, at that point of raw potential, you must act. It’s the only way to get what you want.

Everything in your mind and body is screaming run but right then only a charge will work.

It reminds me of this inspirational clip from the movie Gettysburg where Joshua Chamberlin lead the charge of the 20th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment.

Hope is wasted if it doesn’t lead to action. Action leads to gems of original realization and these enlightening treasures are only granted to those who act.

Teddy Roosevelt said it best. It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.

If you’d like to find a point of original inspiration then join me on August 18, 2010, 3:00-4:00 p.m. ET for this free phone class.

Life Purpose + Self-Employment = Freedom, Prosperity & Fulfillment: How to Get Your Hopes Up & Remain Inspired About Succeeding In Your Own Business


  1. Thank you Thank you Tom! 😉
    I stepped out again today into the (once darkest) softest place of my life..

    and continue to write daily for my next project.
    I would love another heart stake to put down.
    Please count me in for the teleconference.

    I didn’t see a registration on here… if i missed it can you send it to my email doves.eyes11@yahoo.com.

    I don’t want to miss it! I am pushing waves lately with Spirit help.
    I was just wishing today you’d have another conference and then you are !!! 🙂 thank you thank you.. I appreciate all that you do!

    blessings to you,
    Jenn Zuniga

  2. I think there is something subtly powerful in hope. The way I see it, hope is a form of optimism about the future. If we don’t have hope, there is no motivation to work towards a better future. And this is the problem many people need to deal with in order to get themselves acting.

  3. Tom – that’s one of my favorite movies…and the quote you provide is the reason. That, and it’s a story of a woman figuring out who she is and valuing herself…finally…and those kinds of stories always get me.

    I agree that hope not followed by action doesn’t get you anywhere, but I agree with Eduard…without hope – what’s the point?

  4. Hi Tom,

    “Hope” and “believe” are two of my favorite words.

    The part where you said, “In the early days of new business development there is little else to hold onto when actual results are scarce.” resonated with me. It’s hope that gets us through, keeps us hanging onto our beliefs and motivates us to keep following our dream.

  5. Eduard – Yep, that pretty much some it up. Hope is essential because it frames future possibilities in the light of positive expectancy. It’s damn near impossible to risk without hope.

    Jenn – I’m pleased that you enjoy my phone classes. I’m hopeful that this one can be more visceral than intellectual. Your presence will help. You can register here.

    Suzanne – I enjoyed it as well. Stories about anyone who really ponders life and their own place in it grab me. You’re right without hope things do seem pointless and far less meaningful.

    Barbara – That’s right sometimes just having something to hang onto is all we have but it can be more than enough if we catch the right spirit.

  6. > Hope is the glue that bonds ideas to action.
    Very powerful and very precise!

  7. J.D. – Indeed, thanks for stopping by. Without action we are just wishing. Hope is more powerful than that.

  8. Hope is a great thing to have and to live by. Without hope there would not be the world that we live in today!

  9. Hi Tom.

    “Hope is the glue that bonds ideas to action.” Oh, I just scanned upwards and see that JD also noted that line, too. I loved it! Is that your creation? Maybe I’ll just have to tweet it 🙂 Hope keeps us out of the dark, definitely — it floats.

  10. Chris Edgar says:

    Hi Tom — I have a consultant friend who tells me “hope is not a strategy,” and I usually tell him “well, it’s part of my strategy.” Although, at a deeper level, I think, ideally hope is not a strategy at all, but just part of our natural way of being, when we recognize how incredible it is to be alive.

  11. Davina – Yep it’s my creation. Take away hope and nothing sticks. Thanks for the tweet. You’re quite the delight.

  12. Chris- I say the same thing to your friend and then I’d ask him this. How do you get your hopes up? What makes you hopeful? His answers may very well point to tools and tactics that could be a part of a strategy. I like your realization of incredibility and the natural blessing of hope. Very cool!

  13. Hi Tom,

    A thoughtful and inspiring post.

    I do think hope has value, but as you say – it is wasted if it doesn’t lead to action. For me the label ‘hope’ suggests something that is empty of action, although the word will have different meanings for us all.

    Personally, I prefer the ‘positive expectation’ and when viewed in this light can provide the sometimes much-needed fuel to our action. The trick, I suppose, for us all is to use both action and hope in a continuous cycle of self-reinforcing improvement.

    Many thanks.

  14. Hope leads to action and then you have results? Lots of actions and lots of hope sometimes do not bring the wanted results…

    Good stuff here and I am sorry I am so late but enjoyed reading it.
    I often read but do not comment these days….Job hunting but I think my heart and hope is not in the game.

  15. David – Welcome. Yes using both hope, action and whatever good feeling thought we can latch onto to get us over the next hump is something that always works.

    Patricia – It’s often not the amount of action or the amount of hope one has that creates results. There are many other factors involved but if the hope is steady and the action is multi-faceted our odds definitely improve.

  16. Tom,

    I can only say, thank you. ..

    regards, Anne

  17. Anne – You are welcome. Rise your hope to whatever desire you can imagine.

  18. HF is my all-time favorite movie, and I love the Gena Rowlands character (who plays Sandra B.’s character’s mom). She’s such a great blend and balance of hope and realism.

    I hadn’t thought of the movie as applicable to business concepts, but I guess it is. Thanks for the insights!

    BTW, welcome to High Calling Blogs. I hope you’ll find it as inspirational and welcoming as I have.

  19. Dena – Welcome! I appreciate you stopping by. I enjoyed that character as well, perfect for Rowlands. She just oozed wisdom.

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