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Staying on Top When Your World's Upside Down


There’s no such thing as false hope

Tác giả: Joe Tye

“The one thing that usually persists through all these stages [of dying] is hope.”
Elisabeth Kubler-Ross: On Death and Dying

In his 2009 commencement address at the University of Portland author and entrepreneur Paul Hawken said, “The most unrealistic person in the world is the cynic, not the dreamer. Hope only makes sense when it doesn’t make sense to be hopeful.”

There is a scene in my book The Healing Tree: A Mermaid, A Poet, and A Miracle where a doctor tells Maggie Mermaid to not share her poem “The Hope Diamond” with a seriously ill patient because he doesn’t want to give her false hope. Maggie asks which he would rather his patient have – false hope or genuine despair.

There is an important distinction between hope and optimism. You don’t need to justify hope like you do optimism. If I were to tell you that I’m optimistic that this book will sell a million copies, you could quite justifiably ask me for the grounds of my optimism: what is the size of my current platform, what sort of marketing strategies have I planned, and how big is my promotional budget – all are legitimate questions that you could use to challenge (in this case successfully) my optimism. But if I were to say that I hope this book sells a million copies, I don’t have to justify that statement because it’s true – I do hope that a million people will read this book and put these ideas to work in their own lives.

One more thing: Hope is the foundation for optimism. You can be hopeful without being optimistic, but you cannot be optimistic if there is no hope. And since Job #1 of every leader (this includes every parent in their role as leader of the family) a senses of optimism, there truly is no such thing as false hope.

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