At this time of the year there is a tendency for the seeds of hope to sprout and grow more particularly than at other times. And hope competes more for attention in the cluttered landscape of our minds and our hearts. Hope for the promise of Christmas, hope for the potential of the New Year ahead. 

But what is hope and how is it different from many of the other drivers in our life? 

1 Hope requires time, focus and energy to fully unfold into a life. It differs from wishes, daydreams and fantasies which can be created and crushed in a heartbeat. 

2 Hope combines the desire for something with the expectation of receiving it. That expectation of receiving is rooted in the will, and the will drives the ambition to work towards the receiving. Hope is not passive. 

3 Hope inspires boldness, courage and daring; it blunts the edge of fear; it motivates massive action. Audacity and Hope have long been linked, most recently, of course, by Barack Obama. 

4 Hope sustains us through the ruthless realities of life that might otherwise overwhelm us. Hope helps us recalibrate our perspective; it gives us the blood to get up one more time, dust ourselves down and try again. 

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5 Hope has history. It is ancient. Hope can be relied upon, it does, however require and reward effort – effort of the body, the mind and the heart, which brings us back, in a virtuous circle to the first point above.

I think we can all benefit from building a little time into our busy pre-Christmas schedule to reflect on the potency of Hope and how it, along with appropriate action, might help propel us more purposefully towards our goals. I’d like to know what you think. Join in the conversation in the comments section below.