Do You Have True Hope or Just a Wish?

If you look up “hope” in the dictionary you will discover two parts to the definition: 
a)    “desire or expectation” for something in the future to occur; and
b)    “grounds for believing” something in the future will occur. 
You run into trouble when you have one without the other.

Image courtesy of

When you have “desire without any grounds” you have a problem.  When hope is based solely on your desire or wish and isn’t grounded in reality, it’s called false hope and will not keep your boat afloat!

If you do not have objective reasons to believe your situation will change and progress in a certain direction, it’s time to lay down your approach and the perspective you are committed to.  It’s time to recalibrate new expectations grounded in realism.

When I woke up from my accident two days after it happened, it took a while to get my bearings.  My life prior to the accident was full of purpose, direction and activity that was exciting and fruitful.  On my mind early on in my recovery was, “when can I get back to doing what I love to do?  When can I get back to coaching, running, traveling, training leaders, living life as I thought it was meant to be lived?” 

Four months after the accident, my recovery plan sank.  What I was hoping for was no longer grounded in reality!  The infection I had at the beginning of my recovery resurfaced and everything changed for the worse.  Things grew hopeless after my fourth surgery and my expectations were hit with a major dose of realism.  Depression set in like a heavy fog on a cool winter morning and my plan needed a facelift from being a few months in length to potentially a few years.

How do we know when to hang on to hope verses grasping the hopelessness that opens the door to doing something different? You need a good diagnostic (to quote Henry Cloud in Necessary Endings).  

You need to take stock in what you have and if your situation has changed, embrace the reality, wrap your arms around it, and then go about designing a new pathway forward. 

Hopelessness is the soil of a new beginning. Hopelessness serves as the bedrock necessary to start building again and arriving at new expectations and a new plan for moving forward in your life. 

Once I went down into my hopelessness I found:

  • A new place to stand
  • Realistic expectations
  • The freedom to admit weakness
  • New ideas for using my talents to help others
  • People who were willing to support me in new ways
  • Fresh motivation coming from a renewed plan
  • Strength from God who meets us in our weakness

Hope prevents us from clinging to what we have and frees us to move away from the safe place and enter unknown and fearful territory [Henri Nouwen].

In what way might you be living with a desire but without any grounds to see that come to pass?  What needs to change in order to develop true hope not just a wish?

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About Cam Taylor

I'm help people live inspired, focused and tenacious lives. I work as a coach, facilitator, author, and speaker.
This entry was posted in Adversity, Change, Growth, Hope, learning, Perspective, purpose and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Do You Have True Hope or Just a Wish?

  1. verda graham says:

    Hello Cam. Lloyd Tanner gave me the link to your blog and I find your messages insightful. May God continue to work through you as you look for ways to encourage growth in others through your pain. You might not know me but you knew my Dad Elmar Childerhose who of course was a great friend of your Grandpa. God bless

    • Cam Taylor says:

      Hi Verda, I do remember you and am so glad Lloyd pointed you towards my blog. Thanks so much for your feedback and posting a comment. I have very fond memories of years gone by when both my Grandfather and your Dad had a significant impact on my life during my formative years. May we do the same for others! All the best!

  2. rodger says:

    Well said. What an incredible look at things from someone who has experienced both hope and despair. It is inspiring to hear from someone who God has walked through these difficult times and has brought you out the other side. Thanks for your insight and honesty.


  3. Howdy! This post could not be written much better!
    Looking through this article reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He constantly kept preaching about this. I am going to forward this information to him.
    Fairly certain he’s going to have a great read. I appreciate you for sharing!

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