Motivation Mondays: HOPE
“Hope is the only bee that makes honey without flowers.” Robert Green Ingersoll
What is hope but a feeling of optimism, a thought that says things will improve, it won’t always be bleak, there’s a way to rise above the present circumstances. Hope is an internal awareness that you do not have to suffer forever, and that somehow, somewhere there is a remedy for despair that you will come upon if you can only maintain this expectancy in your heart. Wayne W. Dyer
What does HOPE mean to you? This weekend, two of my favorite inspiring and brilliant authors/teachers passed away. Dr. Wayne Dyer was a motivational speaker/teacher and author of many books including bestsellers;The Power of Intention and Your Erroneous Zone. Dr Oliver Sacks was a neurologist and author whose bestselling book, The Awakenings, was made into an Academy Award nominated movie starring the late Robin Williams and Robert De Niro. I chose to mention both men, in this piece, because their life’s work gave lots of people – Hope and Encouragement – during their darkest hours. Whether it was a person inspired by Wayne’s speaking engagements or a mental health patient encouraged by Oliver’s expertise, these two great souls spread their light in dark places and gave hope to so many. When I think about the meaning of the Word, Hope, what comes to mind is an unflinching expectation of an outcome that will ease my worries. Sometimes, our outcomes might not be what we hoped for but, because we didn’t give up, our hope had a resonance of success in the face of great challenge. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary, defines HOPE as a “desire with expectation of obtainment…to cherish a desire with anticipation.” When you consider this definition, it becomes crystal clear that our motivation to get up and pursue our dreams and goals is fueled by HOPE. We might not think about it that way but it is a key component on the road to personal achievement and resilience.
A Story: The 10th HOPE
When I met Hope Ten, about 15 years ago, I was curious to learn more about her. Aside from the fact that she had a bubbly spirit and a keen wit, she was always ready to her others in the classroom. One day, I suggested an exercise on naming and had each student write and share a vignette (a brief account) on how they got their name. The students were excited because they all claimed they had the best story to share on naming and so they set to work writing their short stories. I set the timer for 15 minutes and, once it went off, they stopped writing and took turns sharing their stories… They were varied, engaging, even amusing stories, and we all laughed, ooh-ed and aah-ed, and clapped as each story was shared. When it was Hope Ten’s turn, she stood up and asked if she could stand in front of the class to share her short story. I agreed. The class grew quiet as her classmates sat up straight, eager to hear how Hope Ten got her name. Hope gave a slight nervous cough and in a steady yet quiet voice, she shared her vignette.
Hope: I am the 10th child of my parents, and the only one born alive. My dad came from a large family of 8 kids and my Mom was an only child. As a child, Mom always wanted siblings but had to be content with cousins and school friends. She had plans to someday have a houseful of her own kids. When my parents got married, they were excited about having their own kids. Mom got pregnant fairly quickly but lost the baby at birth. It was a girl, and my heartbroken parents named her Hope before burying her on the family plot in the local cemetery. Subsequent pregnancies followed and Mom lost every single one; she either miscarried them or had stillbirths. Two almost made it but died at birth. All were girls, all were named Hope, and by the third stillbirth, my Mom added numbers after each Hope.
The loss took a toll on my parents and they gave up when Hope Seven died. They took a much-needed trip away from home and, somewhere along the way, near the Atlantic Shore, they met a lovely lady who asked them if they had any kids. When they shared their woeful story with her, she told them to never give up Hope. ” You will have a child that will live and give you much love and joy into your old age. Don’t give up Hope!’ She said. My parents were encouraged by the stranger they met on vacation. And so, they persevered. Hope 8 and 9 didn’t make it but I, Hope Ten, did. Till this day, my parents remind me that I am the best blessing and gift in their lives and that I should never give up Hope no matter how bad things might seem. I live that advice daily – Don’t Ever Give Up Hope! © Copyrighted By E.Obih-Frank
“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” Desmond Tutu
We have all of us been hoping so intensely that this month would see your return to health; but, alas! this was not to be.
My heart is torn when I hear of your weakness, your misery — and, now, your longing to die. You, who have always loved life, and been such a source of strength and life to so many, can face death, even choose it, with serenity and courage, mixed, of course, with the grief of all passing. We, I, can much less bear the thought of losing you. You have been as dear to me as anyone in this world.
I shall hope against hope that you may weather this misery, and be restored again to the joy of full living. But if this is not to be, I must thank you — thank you, once again, and for the last time, for living — for being you.
Love, Oliver (excerpt from – On The Move: A LIFE by Dr Oliver Sacks. This is a Letter to his dying Aunt Lennie)
What gives you HOPE? Every day, we get up in anticipation of things to come. Most of us stay expectant for positive outcomes from our actions and effort. Others stay hopeful that a bad turn will result in a good outcome or a good twist of faith. Whichever way we choose to look at it, what stays current is our spirit of expectation and anticipation of an outcome. Hope creates that buffer that allows us to experience our lives while staying expectant that things can only get better. It is for this reason that we are encouraged to practice Affirmations, yoga, prayer or any other tools that help us stay focused, positive and hope-filled. Without hope, we fall into an abyss of sadness and dejection and so Hope is a very powerful motivator in life. If we can see that glimmer of light at the end of a dark tunnel, we have connected with the flame of hope inside of our being. As the letter of hope to Aunt Lennie and The 10th Hope story above have made clear, Do not ever give up hope. When all else fails, Hope can see us through the toughest moments.
A Story: Hope In Sand and Stone…
Two friends were walking through the desert. At some point of the journey, they had an argument; and one friend slapped the other in the face. The one who got slapped was hurt, but without saying anything, wrote in the sand: “Today, my best friend slapped me in the face.” They kept walking, until they found an oasis where they decided to take a bath. The friend who had been slapped got stuck in the mire, and started drowning, the other friend saved him. After he recovered, he wrote on a stone: “Today my best friend saved my life.” The friend who had slapped and saved his best friend asked, “After I hurt you, you wrote in the sand and now you write on stone. Why?” The friend replied, “When someone hurts us, we should write it down in sand, where winds of forgiveness can erase it away. But when someone does something good for us, we must engrave it in stone where no wind can ever erase it.” Learn to write your hurts in the sand and to carve your benefits in stone. They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, a day to love them but an entire life to forget them. “Gratitude is merely the secret hope of further favors.” François de la Rochefoucauld
The details for Motivation Mondays are below. Join in! The themes for July and August are:
07/06 – FREEDOM
07/13 – WORRY
07/20 – WEALTH
07/27 – GRACE
08/03 – TIME
08/10 – CONTROL
08/17 – PURPOSE
08/24 – FAILURE
08/31 – HOPE
“Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey toward it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us.” Samuel Smiles
Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.Thich Nhat Hanh
Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.” Joseph Addison
What do you HOPE for? I know that I hope for a better world where everyone has the basics for survival and people are treated with dignity, love and respect. I also know that we must live what we hope for. When we look around us and see others struggling to make sense of the world or struggling to feed their family, raise their kids, find meaningful work, or even get some peace and quiet in their home, we can help by offering encouragement. We can lift each other up in small and large ways. Often, I hear people say “I don’t know what to do. I can’t do this alone!” Start where you are and do what is feasible for you. Do you know what a difference a smile can make to a person who feels alone in this world? Do you know what a kind word can do for a Mom who’s had a rough day? Even that door we hold open for the person behind us in the supermarket, or that dime we give to the lady on the grocery line who doesn’t have enough change, can add a ray of hope to their lives. We can start wherever we are and klieg lights are not required.
A Poem: Always We Hope by Lao Tzu
Always we hope
someone else has the answer,
some other place will be better,
some other time,
it will turn out.
This is it.
No one else has the answer,
no other place will be better,
and it has already turned out.
At the center of your being,
you have the answer:
you know who you are and
you know what you want.
There is no need to run outside
for better seeing,
nor to peer from a window.
Rather abide at the center of your being:
for the more you leave it,
the less you learn.
Search your heart and see
the way to do is to be.
Abide at the center of your being
Read more: Quotes That Give You Hope When You Need It Most Oprah.com
My Own Life – Dr Oliver Sacks
There’s a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem – Dr Wayne Dyer
On The Move: A LIFE – Dr Oliver Sacks
The Power of Unconditional Love: How Oliver Sacks’s Beloved Aunt Shaped His Life and Inspired His Courageous Dance with Death Maria Popova
Restore Your Faith. – Wayne Dyer
Positive Motivation Tip: Hope restores our faith in things that might not appear certain and gives us the motivation to trudge on.
Motivation Mondays is open to anyone who wishes to share a motivational quote, photo, personal challenge or a post that encourages others to start the week on an upbeat note.
Basic Instructions: Each week, I will have a motivation word to help us create a response. (See listed words for the months above/below)
Email address: You may email or share your post as a comment and I will add it to the round-up of related posts. email it to: contact(@)mirthandmotivation(.)com
Category tag: – Share your post using Motivation Mondays
Twitter hashtag: – Use this on Twitter #MotvnM
Dedicated Page: There is a dedicated page for Motivation Mondays. It has the same instructions and will include other helpful tools and a link to the round-up
Facebook Page: MotivationOnMondays Join our page and add your post and/or any motivational piece you think will be helpful to others.
Facebook Community: We have a Facebook community forum to compliment the page. It serves as another way to share uplifting posts and thoughts. Please join in and add your voice.
Badge: – I created a fun badge using PicMonkey’s free photo editing tools. You can create your own, use WordPress’ integrated tool on your blog or you are welcome to use mine. (see dedicated page)
Tag: – Motivation Mondays
Hashtag: – #MotvnM
- Motivation Mondays: FAILURE (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: PURPOSE (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: CONTROL (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: TIME (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: GRACE (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: WEALTH (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: WORRY (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: FREEDOM (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: TRUST (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: DETERMINATION (mirthandmotivation)
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- Motivation Mondays: WHAT’S A WELLNESS, FITNESS, HEALTHY LIFESTYLE? (mirthandmotivation)
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- Motivation Mondays: MISTAKES (mirthandmotivation)
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- Motivation Mondays: HEALTH (mirthandmotivation)
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- Motivation Mondays: READ – Honoring Dr.Seuss (mirthandmotivation)
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- Motivation Mondays: LOVE (mirthandmotivation)
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- Motivation Mondays: Comfort Zone (mirthandmotivation.com)
- Motivation Mondays: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Most Inspired Quotes(mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: Perspective (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: SILENCE (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: Regrets (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: Joy! (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: Compassion (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: The Busy Busy Trap (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: Forgiveness (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: Acceptance (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: GRATITUDE (mirthandmotivation)
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- RIP Zig Ziglar: King of Motivation… (mirthandmotivation)
- Reflections: Be The Change… (mirthandmotivation)
PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: Zen Stories via Read.Goodweb, All Photos: Francesco Guardi, Collecting Lourdes Water, HOPE – Assistants & George F. Watts, Auschwitz & Hope Rose, Pandora’s Box, New Harmony by F Bate, The Golden Age, Berlin Wall, via Wikipedia and/or from my Personal Collection.