Is it just me or are you noticing there is a lot of talk about hope..or the lack of it? In coaching conversations, Twitter feeds, day to day chat, there it is cropping up.
As a coach, or when you are coaching, it is important and necessary to reflect on the conversations you have, in content and process. As a coaching supervisor once said to me “if you find yourself talking about the same thing with different coachees, it is probably a projection”.
Ok. Maybe it is a projection.
The thing is, I like the idea of hope. It’s partly why I am a leadership coach: “Hope is knowing people, like kites, are made to be lifted up”. I will even admit that I once named a car Hope...(Hope was subsequently abandoned in some little French village.....but let’s not go into that).
So you can imagine how deflated I felt when listening to Conversations with Avant-Garde Sages, John Troy in his mesmerising southern US drawl announces ....hope “is the mantra of doubt”.
Challenge my worldview...but no, not the one of hope!
His interviewee Brian Adler goes on to say: “Basically the only difference between hope and fear is that in hope you think it's going to get better, and in fear you think it's not. But in both cases you're thinking there's a problem with the way it is right now.”
OK, I can experience moments of presence and indeed many of my postings are about mindfulness. And I can see their point about having unconditional acceptance to what is happening in the now. However, I am by no means there in my spiritual evolution: my attachment to the profoundness and mysteriousness of hope remains.. .
So I will settle for the equally insightful and possibly more practical thought of Jim Collins, who explored what makes good companies great. One thing great companies and leaders do is to embody what Collin calls the Stockdale Paradox: the ability to confront the brutal facts of one’s current reality, whatever they are... with the unwavering faith that you will prevail.