The book offers a parable of hope with real life scenarios
Gus – husband, father, employee of a nonprofit organization – hates her life. Nothing seems to be going well for him. His clients are unpleasant, his wife is distant, his children don’t seem to understand him. Sometimes when you drive home you think about giving the wheel a quick jerk that will put you in the path of a truck so you can finish it all off.
We’ve all been there, and author Jeff Caliguire understands that. And he also understands that “From time to time, we feel that there is a voice that calls us out of the valley and into the mountains.” So in his new book Habits of Hope, Caliguire lets Gus hear that voice. For some of us, that voice tells us that we have a greater purpose; It could be the voice of God, it could be the voice of someone who believes in us; It could be our own self-confidence that is coming to the surface. For Gus, it is the voice of an old mentor from his childhood who teaches him not only about hope, but also about how to practice it through daily habits.
Gus first reconnects with his mentor when he receives a letter from him. Of course, Gus’s story is a parable, so the letter could well be addressed to all readers. Gus’s mentor calls him a seeker and adds:
You refuse to settle for life at face value … You cannot put life in a success box defined by someone else. You are the one who pushes the envelope of what is accepted and acceptable. You see the world as impressive and incredible, but also disappointing and depressing. You see hypocrites and they bother you. You look at the rich and famous and ask yourself, “Why are they so messy?” You look at the religious and ask: “Who wants to be like them?” You experience pain and loss in life and ask, “Is there a better way?”
He continues to remind us that there is a better way and that all who wander are not lost. We’re just looking-looking for hope.
I won’t reveal the story to the rest of the book, but I will say that Gus has some surprises in store for him as he reconnects with his mentor and learns the habits of hope. I also found a lot of helpful points in this book that I probably won’t soon forget, so I’ll talk a bit about them.
One of the most revealing themes in this book for me was time. I constantly feel like I don’t have enough time, that I can’t always stop to smell the roses, like I’m being governed by the clock, referred to in the book as “chronos … the sequence of moments.” “But Caliguire presents us with another type of time:” kairos “, which is Greek for” opportune moment. “In other words, the right moment. Kairos is the moment when we must be fully present and at the moment when something happens. at the perfect time. Caliguire tells us that kairos is “God’s way of acting when it comes to time. Not rushed. Not too busy. Not oversold. Instead, fully present. “The story goes on to explain that sometimes we have to spend our time doing certain things that perhaps we didn’t expect or didn’t plan on, but anyway, it’s kairos time to do them. Those moments can be spending time. with a friend or take a trip that we had not planned and that leads to new revelations. Since reading this definition, I have been trying to focus more on the present moment and enjoy it instead of worrying about all the things that are still in my mind. To-do list because now I realize that everything happens at its proper time.
Another aspect of the book that I liked was the discussion about vision. Caliguire quotes Psalm 20: 4, “May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.” He tells us that God loves our plans, adding: “If more business leaders and government leaders understood this! God is pro-vision and pro-plan! God wants us to have big dreams and have a vision for progress. But then God wants our plans to be successful, not in a drawer or a heap. ” Having no plans or a vision is tantamount to being hopeless. We need to invest in our future by planning, believing that what we want to achieve is possible and preparing for it. As Caliguire puts it succinctly, “Those who invest become the best!”
In total, there are twelve HABITS OF HOPE, which form the acronym for the title. Just to name a few of them, there is AUDIENCE: Hear that you are blessed, INVEST: Invest in yourself and your dreams, FEED: Feed your brain, OVERCOME: Overcome setbacks constantly, PROGRESS: Progress towards your vision every day and EMPOWER : Empower Others to Hope.
So how did it turn out for Gus? I imagine it is not surprising that he regains hope and improves his life. That is the whole purpose of the book, and saying it reveals nothing. But what’s important to remember is that Gus’s story is a parable, a fiction that Caliguire hopes will become reality for his readers. Gus’s story won’t really be a success unless readers take the habits of hope seriously and apply them to their lives. We can all use an extra dose of hope and we can all make our lives better. If you feel like you are looking for more meaning to your existence, perhaps looking for a lifeline, risk Habits of Hope. It is like a helping hand that reaches out to keep you from drowning. I suspect that by the time you finish reading it, you will have created a new vision for your life, one that you can work toward with a little extra hope.