Wishing vs. Hoping

I recently listened to a podcast with Dr. Henry Cloud, who I’ve heard speak numerous times.  I’ve also read many of his books, all of which have impacted my leadership in tremendous ways.  One of his most recent, Necessary Endings, is powerful and a must read for leaders (along with Boundaries for Leaders).

In the podcast, Cloud discussed a topic from Necessary Endings – the difference between wishing and hoping.  Have you ever heard someone say “I hope this changes” or “I hope this person changes?”  Cloud said that what they really mean most of the time is that they wish that it would change or that person would change. Hope, by contrast, involves action – it involves time.  Hope is wishing with feet moving.  The Bible says that hope does not disappoint; wishing is just wishing, and often wishes just don’t come true.

I have been reflecting on this for a while now, and I have to honestly admit that I’ve just been wishing that many of the things I would like to see changed in my current leadership context would eventually change.  I’ve waited for the knight on the white horse to come charging in and save the day, and I’ve done little to put time and action into making change happen.  There’s a HUGE difference between wishing and hoping.

These days, I’m moving to hoping; I’m putting feet to my wishing.  As Mark Batterson often says, I’m going to work as though it depends on me and pray like it depends on God, because it does.

What things have you been wishing would change in your leadership context?  Is it time to move from wishing to hoping, and put action and time into them?