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Copyright © 2002 by Joe Freeman. All rights reserved.
Are You Hanging In There?
How often have you heard that phrase – ‘hang in there’? It seems like every time you tell someone about a difficult problem or situation you are experiencing, they often reply – ‘hang in there’! What does that mean? Most people mean it in a well intentioned manner, meaning that you need to keep focused, keep working on the problem and most of all, don’t give up hope.
What does ‘hope’ mean to you? Is it a just another word that has no value? Is it your way of hoping the problem will go away? Peter Drucker said ‘unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes... but no plans’. Yes – we must have hope for the future, but we also must do something that will bring our hopes into reality. We need a plan for making our hopes and dreams real.
‘Hope’ by itself will not solve any problem. Hope will not prevent bill collectors from repossessing your car. Hope will not bring back a loved one from the grave. Hope will not bring back a relationship that has been torn apart. Hope is an internal thought process that allows us to see potential in the future and make decisions in the present that will bring reality to our hopes.
How do you see that future potential? Vaclav Havel says that ‘hope is a state of mind’. The state of mind he is talking about is a positive thinking state of mind. A mind that is thinking positively can come up with viable solutions that will often get overlooked when we are feeling overwhelmed by circumstances. This is sometimes called ‘constricted thinking’. When our mind is in turmoil, we tend to focus on the problem, not the potential solutions. Try relaxing, stop thinking about why the problem occurred and think about ways you can solve the problem.

Hang in there!
Hope is the greatest
 need in human life.

Hope is the companion of power,
 and mother of success;
 for who so hopes strongly
 has within him the gift of miracles.

- Joe Freeman
Hope is both the earliest and the most indispensable virtue
 inherent in the state of being alive.
 If life is to be sustained hope must remain,
 even where confidence is wounded, trust impaired.
 Erik H. Erikson
The Web Sage