How has your week been so far? I’ve had an up and down few days planning my business activities for the autumn term. Some clients are hoping for face to face training delivery but we both know that may not be possible. I also know I’m juggling that face to face delivery needs a lot more travel time to be blocked into my diary which constrains what happens either side – my clients don’t know what or where my other commitments might be. It’s mostly working out well but it’s taken a lot of flexibility to pull things off – as I write this I’m not sure we’re quite there yet, but I hope so. Fingers crossed!

It was when I was drafting this email and wrote that last phrase that I was actually led deeper into the content I’m about to share with you.

I Googled “Why do we cross our fingers” and learned that it seems to be, yes a wish for luck but maybe originally a Christian tradition, forming a cross to ask for God’s help. I never knew that!

And then the hope bit, I remember being taught that hope was one of the three virtues – faith, hope and love – so, is hope a virtue and what do we mean by that? I know hope can often feel a bit wishy-washy, you know a kind of “it would be nice if that happened”, fuzzy sort of feeling. Theologically speaking, I believe hope is the desire for something combined with the expectation of receiving it.

But I really remember Brené Brown talking about hope. She described the work of a psychologist, Rick Snyder who taught that hope was a skill that could be learned.

According to Snyder, hope is a combination of goals, pathways and agency. Hope happens when:

  • we can set realistic goals (I know where I want to go)
  • we can figure out how to achieve those goals, even when that means being flexible and having alternative plans (I know how to get there, I’m persistent, I can tolerate disappointment and try again)
  • we believe in ourselves (I can do this!).

I guess in summary, hope is a combination of setting goals, having the tenacity and perseverance to pursue them and believing in our own ability to make those things happen. In this context, Hope is Plan B.

I love the idea of this being a skill set. What do you think?!

And this really does sum up some of the things I’ve been struggling with this week.

So, yes, in this context, hope, a skill that can be learned and which I have already demonstrated in abundance this week – there is one tiny caveat… but you’ll have to wait for my next email to hear about that.

Until then, I hope your week and your weekend are working out well.

Bye for now!


PS: If you’re full of hope that you will get stuff done but a little less than confident, you might want to have a look at my new masterclass: “Strategies for Getting Stuff Done”, all the best bits from my years of time management training distilled into 2 hours of inspiration for you.

Have a look if you want to get stuff done.