Do you have hope?

“My idea is to give hope, because where there is no hope, there is no vision, and where there is no vision, people will perish.”

Oprah Winfrey

I had to wrestle with this quote for a bit in my mind this morning. At first it felt like a “chicken or an egg” statement. How can you have hope without first having a vision? But on the other hand, how can you summon the energy to craft a vision for the future without first having a sense of hope about what could be? Is it hope that helps you craft the vision or the vision that allows you to have hope?

Then I thought about it from the perspective of who said this quote and the context of what it means through that particular lens. Oprah has done a lot of tremendous good in the world. She has actively lived a life that represents the power of making a positive impact and demonstrated what can happen when a person puts forth tremendous blood, sweat, and tears to pursue their dream (vision). If by living her dream outwardly and setting a positive example for others, she can inspire hope and spark others to pursue their vision, she is seeding hope into the world.

I particularly love how Oprah linked her idea of seeding hope with this verse from Proverbs. “When there is no vision, the people perish.” Proverbs 29:18

Find the hope you need to inspire yourself to discover and engage in a brighter vision of the future. You don’t have to create the vision yourself, but you do have to summon the hope needed to move you towards a brighter future. Without hope, vision dies. Without vision, hope dies. Without hope and vision, you will perish, even if your body lives on and you are just going through the motions of life. That is no way to live…

Your personal board of directors…

“Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.”

Proverbs 15:22

Who is on the “board of directors” for your life? The people that you trust to give you wisdom and perspective when you need guidance? Who are the people that will give you perspective and counsel when you don’t even know that you need it?

These are invaluable advisors because they will help you see the gaps in your plans and thinking and help you find ways to overcome them. The key is to make sure that you are fostering these relationships and ASKING for the input. If you have great plans, but don’t seek counsel, and then LISTEN to it, you are missing the entire point.

Do you have a list of people in your head as trusted advisors and councilors? If you don’t, make the list and foster those relationships.

Question everything…

“The wise man doesn’t give the right answers, he poses the right questions.”

Claude Levi-Strauss

I love asking questions. When I am thinking through a big challenge one of my favorite methods of getting started is to sit down in a quiet place and list all the questions I can think of that would be relevant to solving the problem. I have found that finding the right question is often the most important part of solving any problem.

The right questions bring tremendous clarity and focus. I have a few mentors that I can count on to help me see and understand the truth about almost any situation. It amazes me how someone can ask a question of me that I hadn’t considered and it cuts through the fog like a laser beam. They never help me get there by telling me what they think, they always ask questions. This reminds me of another of my favorite verses from Proverbs.“Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance,” Proverbs 1:5

What are the most important questions for you to be seeking answers for today?

Seek wisdom, or risk being a fool…

 “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.”
 
Proverbs 13:20 ESV
 

We are product of the people we spend time with, the things that we watch and read, the groups that we associate with.  This quote applies both to the people we spend time with, and the things that we choose to watch and read.  

I love to read and to learn new things that challenge my beliefs and perspectives.  Reading is a great way to get outside of your own perspective and find wisdom from others; it’s another way to walk with the wise.  In my mind not reading and seeking new information is the same as choosing to be a companion of fools.

It doesn’t mean you have to read to excess or try to read a book a week.  Just pick one book, and walk with the wisdom that is being shared.  You don’t have to agree with all of it, in fact you probably shouldn’t!  But pick one book that interests you and commit to reading 15-30 minutes per day.  

Seek wisdom.  Seek knowledge.  Seek to learn from the wise.  Or you will run the risk of being one of the fools mentioned above…

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dusty

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