Food for Thought: Staying Connected to Hope

“Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me…Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.” – Shel Silverstein

It’s that time of year again when I ask myself the searching question: “why didn’t I take two weeks off work so I could watch TV?”.

Yes, it’s Wimbledon – the tennis tournament most beloved by players and fans alike.

One of the things I love about tennis is the way a match can turn around.

A player can be match-point down when, unexpectedly, momentum shifts. The commentators may have written them off, but suddenly the player is back in the game. They’re still playing like it counts. They’re fighting back, and when they manage to fight back from the brink of defeat to win, I’m always awestruck at their achievement.

I often wonder what goes through their heads when they’re staring defeat in the face. They may well hear a voice, much as Silverstein describes, saying “it’s impossible, it’s over, you’ve lost”. But there must be another voice within, gently urging “keep going, keep trying, anything can happen”. And it’s this voice they choose to “listen close” to because it gives them hope.

Hope is the essential ingredient for any endeavour in life. Without it, we wouldn’t attempt anything. But sometimes, when we’re struggling, we lose sight of it.

Professional tennis players train to stay connected to hope so they don’t give up when everything seems lost. We can do the same. We can do whatever we need to do to remind ourselves there’s always hope.

One of the reasons so-called “inspirational” quotes like the one above are popular is because they help us connect to the side of us that is hopeful. The side that truly knows anything can happen in life. The side that reminds us no problem is insurmountable and we can fight back any time we choose to.

Just because we feel like we’re losing, doesn’t mean we can’t end up winning.

We just have to stay connected to hope.

©️ Julie de Rohan 2019.


Click here to watch 15-year old Coco Gauff’s incredible comeback from match-point down in her match against Polona Hercog at this year’s Wimbledon.

25 thoughts on “Food for Thought: Staying Connected to Hope

  1. I love this so much. Sometimes holding onto that thin veil of hope is indeed what turns the tide. What a great reminder of the role of hope when we feel like we are losing the battle.

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  2. Hi Julie, I love the central message of this post – never give up, always hope. It can be applied to so many aspects of our lives. And I’m liking the fluctuating schedule! This was a nice surprise on a Sunday afternoon 😉 Lxx

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  3. I haven’t actually watched any Wimbledon yet. I used to really like watching when I was a kid. I remember one time I’d bought a new sports water bottle with my pocket money and pretended I was an umpire, sat on the ladders in the store room out the back of the shop where my parents worked & we lived, watching it and totally enthralled. I love the segue from tennis to hope and determination, how there’s a voice in all of us I think that tells us that anything is possible and to keep going. Sometimes, for some of us, the voice may be very quiet or there may be a rush of other noise drowning it out, but it’s there. “Hope is the essential ingredient for any endeavour in life” – absolutely agree. Such an encouraging post, I love it and I needed to read this today so thank you for sharing it  ♥
    Caz xx

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    1. You’re so welcome, Caz. I love the image you conjure up of you playing umpire when you were little! As you well know, when life is challenging it can be hard to believe it will ever get better but we need to hold on to the hope that it will and that can help us endure the difficult times. As you say, though, that voice can be very quiet. Thank you for sharing your experience, I hope you’re OK.

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  4. « Hope » what’s better than this word? Nothing I believe
    The Shawshank Redemption is one of my favorite movies because of the powerful message of « hope ». Each time I feel there’s no hope, I imagine Andy Dufresne on that beautiful island 🙂
    Loved the example of Tennis you gave and even after the match point, things can turn upside down! Amazing really! We should fight until the last second, so true!
    I wanted to learn Tennis so badly and spent hours watching many matches, and many times the end result couldn’t be defined before a real battle!
    Beautiful post and well noted regarding Sunday or Monday 😊 not an issue at all!
    Enjoy the rest of your day 😊

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    1. “The Shawshank Redemption” is absolutely a story of hope in what seems like a hopeless situation, isn’t it? Incredible film. You’re right that we should “fight until the last second” as we never know when things will turn around for us. Thanks for giving us your thoughts, Huguette, hope you have a good week.

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  5. Thank you for sharing!… if one follows ones heart and dreams, one will not go wrong, no matter life’s challenges… “Every single thing that has ever happened in your life is preparing you for a moment that is yet to come”. (Author Unknown)..

    “Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul – and sings the tunes without the words – and never stops at all.” (Emily Dickinson)

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  6. Again, it all comes back to attitude, doesn’t it? Yesterday life wasn’t worth living; today you’re beyond excited for tomorrow. Not one variable has changed except attitude. I could certainly use a little of the athlete’s training in my life. The never give up until the match is called mentality. I so admire it when I see it in others. You always nail it, Julie. There’s a mass of encouragement and hope in your post. Thanks for the reminder! XO

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    1. You’re so welcome, Jayne, and thank you so much for your kind words. When life seems bleak it’s hard to believe we can turn things around, but it’s possible – as long as we hope.

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  7. The tone of that voice from within our conscious imagination..

    Also tells a tale, if we could interpret these thoughts correctly, via a mood tone..

    We may find that a underlying cause to a hidden condition, could be responsible for why certain individual’s struggle wigh self control becomes

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  8. “Hope is the essential ingredient for any endeavour in life”……….Exactly Julie. And sometimes we do tend to lose, But we have to hold on as Hope and Faith plays a very big part in our lives. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. Hope you are keeping well. Many Blessings of Healing Energies coming Your way 🙂 ❤

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