The Hope Quotient


Tough circumstances are no match for inner strength fueled by hope. Several years ago, author Daniel Goleman argued that Emotional Intelligence Quotient (EQ) is as important to success as Intelligence Quotient (IQ) because people don’t do well when they don’t know how to relate to people. 

Annually, I’m face-to-face with over three hundred thousand people and daily I work with accomplished people from CEOs to soccer moms. I’ve observed that IQ and EQ are not enough to explain why some people are more effective than others. 

People thrive for one reason—they build inner strength through hope. The good news is that whereas IQ and EQ are largely inherited, your “Hope Quotient” or HQ, can be learned and developed to any level.  

My daughter, Leslie, asked me, “What’s the single most important thing you do as a leader?” 

Great question. The single most important thing I do is make sure I stay encouraged. 

Why? Because if I’m not encouraged, eventually nothing else matters. If I’m not encouraged, I’m not the dad, husband, communicator, or person that I could be. 

Getting and staying encouraged is everyone’s number one need. The opposite, discouragement, is a dead end. Professor Howard Hendricks said, “Discouragement is the anesthetic the devil uses on a person just before he reaches in and carves out his heart.” 

Discouraged people lose their ability to dream for the future. Despair replaces joy. Fear replaces faith. Anxiety replaces prayer. Insecurity replaces confidence. Discouraged spouses give up on marriage. Discouraged parents give up on teens. Discouraged leaders give up on people.  

In short, it’s impossible to be spiritually, psychologically, emotionally, or relationally healthy when we’re discouraged. We can live forty days without food, three days without water, eight minutes without air—but not a single second without hope. And that is why . . . 

The greatest gift you can give your family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, anyone…is hope. 

Think Up: 

How could you give another person hope? 

How could having more hope help you? (Read on).