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If you want to change someone's life

If you want to change someone's life, give them hope. I heard these words eight years ago from an interior designer I'll call Norm.

One night the two of us were sitting around my living room discussing room decor—and life. And though I don't recall what prompted Norm to say what he did, I thought enough of his advice to write it down.

So how do we give somebody hope?

It's pretty easy. We start by not taking hope away.

Someone I used to do business with actually tried to do this. I said I'd never felt so hopeful and he said, "Based on what?" Boy, was that the beginning of the end. Ever have a moment like that? I can laugh about it now, but here's a tip:

Don't ever try to prove your worth to someone who doesn't already see it.

So we start by not taking someone's hope away. Then instead of trying to say something profound, we set ourselves aside and listen. Instead of trying to fix somebody's problem, we simply hang in there with them as they go through it. If appropriate, we help them find the humor.

Celebrating victories: what a (hope-filled) concept

Yes, we also inspire hope when we take time to celebrate. We've all worked in jobs, for example, where huge milestones were met without so much as a high five. How hard is it to give someone a high five? How much harder is it to replace someone who left for lack of appreciation?

Be an instrument of hope. If you're a leader in any capacity, this isn't optional—it's how you keep your team energized and moving forward. Share opportunities. Share enthusiasm. It's just not that hard, and while it may or may not change someone else's life, it's bound to change ours for the better.

Be an instrument of hope. If you're a leader in any capacity, this isn't optional.

Gina DeLapa

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Gina DeLapa is America's Ultimate Reminders® Coach, a sought-after speaker, and the proud creator of the Ultimate Reminders® book series. Her wise and witty reminders ("Beware the organization whose response to a burning building is to form a committee") will make you laugh, stir your soul, and inspire your best. If you're not already getting her free Monday-Morning Pep Talk, be sure to sign up now at