Winning Words

Hope, encouragement open endless possibilities

Column by Michael Norton
Posted 9/22/20

Hope may not be a strategy, but then again it just might be, especially when we tie it to encouragement. Although I have personally limited the amount of time I spend reading or watching the news, …

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Winning Words

Hope, encouragement open endless possibilities


Hope may not be a strategy, but then again it just might be, especially when we tie it to encouragement.

Although I have personally limited the amount of time I spend reading or watching the news, and have scaled back on the time I spend on certain social media platforms, it seems like I still find news and posts that focus on what seems hopeless instead of what is possible. We all see how some choose to tear others down instead of putting their energy into the encouragement of a better and positive outcome.

Perhaps hope and encouragement are not top of mind for everyone. And if that’s you, it’s OK. We are living in unprecedented times that may have eroded our once hopeful disposition. And if you find yourself feeling this way, one of the best ways we can regain our hope is to find a way to encourage others around us.

With a little spark of hope and with the encouragement of others, the possibilities of what we can do become endless. Some of us have tremendous hope, but that may have not always been the case. Those who are filled with hope today may have been feeling hopelessness yesterday. And then one day someone showed them a little encouragement, and with a little encouragement and a little hope, who knows what we can accomplish?

Now imagine that it wasn’t just a little hope and a little bit of encouragement, imagine if we allowed our hearts and minds to be filled with hope, with so much hope that we couldn’t help but feel encouraged and compelled to encourage everyone around us.

When we are of the belief that hope is not a strategy, it may be a good time to reassess our thinking. And if we remain sold on the fact that hope is not a strategy, perhaps we can also believe that hope does give us a tactical advantage in all aspects of life. Hope is the great activator and has contributed so much to what has been accomplished by others throughout history.

Can we rely simply on hope and encouragement? No, probably not. However, when we use hope and encouragement as our foundation, and then build upon that foundation with preparation and planning, we will be much better positioned to come through all challenges, adversities, and opportunities that we are facing today.

None of us can truly predict the future. Yet the successful businesses of today are working on the possibilities of tomorrow. They are aware of what is happening in the world today and what the potential impact could be, considering the negative impact as well as the positive impact. And the companies that I speak with begin with the hope for a better future and know that one way that they can increase their chances of success is through the positive encouragement of the people on their team who will drive their desired results.

Encouragement ignites hope; Hope activates purpose; Purpose fuels passion; Passion drives performance; Performance leads to results. And after working with individuals and businesses over many years, and especially through the past several months, they all tell me how important hope is and how purpose, passion, and performance are inspired by encouragement and activated by hope. And these are the people and companies whose possibilities are endless as they prepare for whatever comes next.

Here’s the good news: We can choose to be hopeful instead of hopeless. We can choose to be encouraged or discouraged. And we can decide if we want to see the impossible or the possible. What will you choose?

How about you? Hopeful or hopeless? Encouraged or discouraged? Have you tried encouraging others to provide a little hope? I would love to hear all about your hope and encouragement story at And when we live with hope and encouragement, and recognize that the possibilities are endless, it really will be a better than good week.

Michael Norton is the grateful CEO of, a personal and professional coach, and a consultant, trainer, encourager and motivator to businesses of all sizes.

Michael Norton


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