Success requires a steady focus on the positive.
This clip is taken from Al’s Embracing Change talk given before a live audience of public and private agencies, military personnel, and professional staff.
Al’s Most Recent Blog Post
Never Lose Hope
Samuel Jackson says “Hope is necessary in every condition.
The miseries of poverty, of sickness, of captivity,
would, without this comfort, be intolerable.”
Everyone has had something happen where we clung to HOPE. Family members, friends and I have embraced HOPE in our battles with cancer. Many folks experienced life changing situations where HOPE was your best friend.
HOPE, by definition is a feeling of expectation and desire for a positive outcome. In many cases, we cling most tightly to HOPE when something unexpected or undesirable occurs.
The date was May 7, 1980. Nothing was unusual about a ringing phone just after dinner on a weeknight. Mom cheerfully picks it up, “Hello.”
“Al’s been in a motorcycle accident,” My fiancée Cheryl cried. “They’re taking him to Harborview Hospital!” As a nurse, Mom knew the implications. Fear gripped her heart.
My parents have always gained HOPE from their strong faith in God. They held each other now as they prayed for God’s healing power to wrap me in it’s stronger than death embrace. Have you ever asked your higher power for the strength to get through a difficult situation?
Hope and faith often go together.
HOPE is putting faith to work when doubting would be easier.
When my parents arrived at Harborview, I was in emergency surgery. After many hours, a surgeon came out and said that I’d sustained a brain stem contusion, a ruptured hypothalamus, a ruptured spleen, broken facial bones and massive internal hemorrhaging.
Even if I lived, he warned, I’d never be the same. Physically, mentally, emotionally, I’d be a different person.
Mom and Dad held fast to their prayed for HOPE.
HOPE keeps something alive in us
even when a circumstance seems impossible.
Mom began keeping a journal about this time. Many years later, she shared her journal with me. It began with the following prayer words:
I’m sorry Lord I thought I was strong.
I thought I was prepared to face the worst,
When the doctor told me he would never be the same.
That his intelligence would not reach the same level
As before the accident.
That there would be behavior modifications,
I knew You were still in control.
That out of tragedies, blessings come.
That no matter what happens You can take that thing
-that hurt, and turn it into something good,
Turn it into a blessing.
After a month in a coma, I woke up to face years of therapy. PT, OT, ST, PsT, Voc Rehab Therapy. What a drag. Over the years, my parents maintained their HOPE for me to have a happy and normal life. Isn’t that what everyone wants for their children? Isn’t that what you want for your children and grandchildren?
Keeping Hope Alive
At this point in my life, 33 years later, I have learned how to keep HOPE alive in my life.
I have learned that HOPE is not wishful thinking.
HOPE is a state of mind that inspires us to help others.
Hope is manifested when we’re helping others.
The more people I help, the more hopeful I feel.
HOPE is a dimension of the soul and an orientation of the spirit and the heart.
Pearl S. Buck said, “To eat bread without hope is to still slowly starve.”
So my wish for all of you… is that you have what I have been blessed with… people who are on YOUR team—people who will never give up HOPING for YOUR happiness.
When the world shouts, “Give up! You’ll never make it! What are you thinking?” Hope whispers, “Keep on trying. You can do this.
Winners Don’t Quit!”