Blog & Podcast

The Power of Hope

One of my favorite quotes is by Vaclav Havel, a playwright and the first president of the Czech Republic:

“Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.”–Vaclav Havel

This quote hangs in my home office and occasionally I will look on my bulletin board and see it.  What I love about this quote is every time I read it–I pause—and I think and then I always say “yep that is what I believe.”  It is a good reminder for me.

A friend of mine is contemplating a big move in her life with her partner.  Yesterday she asked me why is it so much easier for us to go the negative rather than think about the positives?  My response was  ‘self-protection’.  I believe we tend to convince ourselves we won’t be disappointed or wrong if we look at all the negatives.

Which is why I love this quote.  It gives us permission to go ahead and hope, hope for the best, hope for a cure, hope for success, hope for victory and even if it doesn’t happen it doesn’t matter because the hope is in the fact that it makes sense for it to happen.  I had a client who really wanted to be a doctor she tried her hardest to get into medical school, she tried a couple of times actually.  As she waited to hear if she was getting in or not would she go back and forth between beating herself up for thinking she could and being totally excited about the possibilities?  Again her mind convinced her if she self-protected she wouldn’t feel stupid.  One day I gave her this quote and I said the beauty is that it makes sense for you to be a doctor even if it doesn’t happen it is ok to hope for it.  She just smiled and thanked me.

Recently I got an e-mail from her she actually didn’t get into med school and has decided to do more with medical research.  But she told me that that quote now hangs on her wall and she regularly looks at it to remind herself to keep hoping and to keep the negative voices at bay.

Hope is powerful part of the human spirit.  It is key to Living Happier.  We all need a little hope.  I like this quote because it grounds me into remembering that I need to trust my gut,  know what makes sense to me and hope for that.  Then if it doesn’t work out it, it is ok because it is grounded in who I am.

How does this quote resonate with you?  What are you hopeful about?  What makes sense to you regardless of how it turns out?