How to hold on to hope

By Juliana Kassianos, Transformational Coach, Yoga Teacher and Founder of The School of Fertility


In the 1950s, Dr Curt Paul Richter tested how long rats could swim in a bucket of circulating water before drowning. Dr Richter found that the average time was 15 minutes, however, if he rescued the rats just before they drowned, dried them off and let them rest before putting them back into the same bucket, the average time increased to 60 hours before drowning.

How was this possible? Dr Richter concluded that the saved rats swam for a longer time when placed back in the bucket, because they sustained hope that they would be saved again and it was this hope that gave them the energy and willpower to keep on swimming.

We can apply the results of this somewhat cruel experiment to our own lives. If we’re struggling to conceive, it’s easy to start questioning what our purpose is and lose hope in the process, becoming defeated, disengaged and directionless. This isn’t the best state to be in when trying to get pregnant. However, if we have a clear direction in life and positive vision to work towards, it creates hope and it’s this hope that gives us the energy to get up each morning with intention, make good decisions and work towards making our vision become reality, no matter how hard it may be or how long it may take.


As you grow and learn more about yourself and the world around you, you will find that your purpose and vision for the life you wish to lead shifts. Ask yourself: “What is my purpose right now in life and what long-term vision am I working towards?”

Have a strong, clear and positive vision for what you want firmly pictured in your mind. Never lose hope, as this will give you the energy and willpower you need to keep on working towards achieving your dreams, no matter what you may come up against along the way.

Even better, don’t just hope, but expect what you want to come true to happen. You don’t want to expect it to happen straight away though, as you may set yourself up for disappointment. Instead look at it from a long-term view and know that whatever challenges you face, you’ll work through them so that someday, somehow you’ll make it happen.

Why do we need to a certain amount of expectation? Because when we hope, there’s sometimes a small part of us that feels like it might not happen and this can hold us back, but when we expect, we tend to have full confidence and commitment to get ourselves to where we want to be.

Just make sure your vision is what you truly want, not what society says you should want or that which others picture for you. Trust the vision you have for yourself, so you can create an authentic life that’s meaningful to you and provides you with the fulfilment, satisfaction and joy you desire to have.


• On the phenomenon of sudden death in animals and man. RICHTER CP. Psychosom Med. 1957 May-Jun;19(3):191-8. https://pdfs.semanticscholar. org/7e17/2997570d70507653177172061c3b9ed 627.pdf

Juliana Kassianos