September 8 – More thoughts on hope

September 8. “Without hope, people are only half alive. With hope they dream and think and work.” (Charles Sawyer)

The quotes I am using for my “Reflection 365” in 2014 come from the book Inspiration 365 Days a Year, by Zig Ziglar. There is one quote for each date, and I take that quote and reflect on my thoughts and feelings then write a blog post about them. I mention this for two reasons, to let new followers know why I am doing a daily post about reflections, and to explain some of the quote choices.

Lately there have been a lot of quotes about hope. A quick search on the keyword “hope” turned up at least 20 posts containing that word since April. I have said many things about the notion that people must have hope in their lives in order to just be able to get up in the morning and function in society, let alone to dream and excel. Today’s quote falls into that same place.

Those times in my life, when hope has been at its lowest, it has truly been hard to get up and participate in the world. When my job assignments seemed to be going nowhere, each morning became a battle with the snooze button. I would stare at the clock and do my mental math on how many multiples of 7 minutes I could take before I would be late for work. Once there I would plod through the assignments without any enthusiasm, counting down the day until I could hope in my car and drive off. Once home it would take all my energy to find my way to the couch for the remainder of the evening. And all this is just because I felt hopeless at work.

When I have had exciting assignments that allowed me to be productive, all that changed. In general I would bounce out of bed, shower and head in with anticipation of being challenged, and being successful. To me, that is the definition of hope at work.

The author of this quote has it right. When hope wanes the things that become hard to do are thinking and dreaming. When thinking and dreaming ebb, then work does as well. And a life without thinking, dreaming, and meaningful work is only half a life indeed.

These days I do not lack for hope. There are still difficulties in my work assignments, as there are in all meaningful kinds of work, but there is hope in them as well. I know that my perseverance and hard work matter in my assignments. I know that I can think and dream of ways to innovate and excel, and that it will make a positive difference to myself and those around me.

This morning my reflection is once again about hope. I am blessed with abundant hope at home and at work, and for that I am thankful. It is just a bit past 5:00am, and I am already looking forward with positive anticipation to my work as well as my home life.

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