48 episodes

Stories with everyday people. A podcast learning about humans on planet earth. The success and struggle in their life, to help inspire hope in yours.

The Hope Initiative Rien MacDonald

    • Personal Journals
    • 4.7, 37 Ratings

Stories with everyday people. A podcast learning about humans on planet earth. The success and struggle in their life, to help inspire hope in yours.

    #46 - Discovering Why

    #46 - Discovering Why

    "Sadly for me, I figured out there was lots of things not going will in my relationship, things such as cheating and things that come out right in the middle of the trip. And that was a huge slap in the face for me and kind of changed the trip. We ended up breaking up, and I decided that instead of going travelling, I was like, 'You know what? I think there's enough on my plate to sit down, put my suitcases down and think about this entire life story, and just kind of start again with a clean slate...
    Not a clean slate, but just, how to start anew and figure things out..."

    Episode #46 with Anya Meidell

    Anya and I are modern day internet pen pals. After seeing her instagram via a mutual friend, we struck up a correspondence through a mutual desire for self improvement and growth. After a year, I asked her to be a guest on my podcast and she was so kind and accomodating!

    In this conversation, we discuss her life as one of 6 kids between divorced parents, how she had to become the mother at the age of 15 and help her own mother who was suffering with a mental illness at the time. Her desires to travel and study abroad, make or break moments and discovering her Why.

    Thanks so much to Anya for sharing a piece of her life with me.
    I hope you enjoy as much as I did!

    Thanks :D

    • 1 hr 5 min
    #45 - Comfortable with the Uncomfortable

    #45 - Comfortable with the Uncomfortable

    "One thing I learned from dad and probably the biggest lesson was just open your ears. Just be that person to sit there and listen. Because not everyone wants advice...
    It's like, no dude, like some people just want to be confident. They will just want you to sit there, shut your mouth, open your ears and just pay that level of comfort.

    So for me, I saw the way dad did that, and it allowed people to feel when people go through like depression, anxiety, and mental illness, all they want is to be safe."

    Episode #45 with Damien Bugeja

    Damien Bugeja is a man on a mission. An inspiring individual with a big heart, in late February -March of this year, he ran well over 250km in 6 days from Craigieburn to Yarrawonga in memory of his late Father, Joseph Bugeja who passed away from a rare form of cancer called ‘Pseudomyxoma Peritonei’ in January 2017.

    2017 was a tough year for Damien. Not only dealing with his fathers loss, he also tore his ACL (not for the first time) and broke up with his long term girlfriend.

    Despite this, he is now in a place where each and every day he leans in to the fear by choosing not to fear, and practices gratitude and resilience daily.

    It was a truly generous conversation and one I'm sure you'll enjoy!
    Thanks again to Damien.

    • 1 hr 7 min
    #44 - Above & Beyond

    #44 - Above & Beyond

    "You don't necessarily have to go off and be a screaming expert or something before you actually try and do it. Just do it. Make mistakes, learn from it and move forward."

    Episode #44 with Andrew Nott

    Andrew is the father of three of my best mates, wife to my godmother and like a father to me! He's also a housemate on a semi-casual basis, working in Melbourne but living in Cooma, New South Wales.

    In this off the cuff conversation recorded in our living one Saturday morning, I ask Andrew - a man of many talents as well as the master of quite a few - questions relating to production in his line of work, what his hope are for the future as well as my favourite, advice for his 20 year old self...

    Thanks for checking it out, I hope you enjoy it!

    Please note, this episode was recorded in January 2020 and I felt there was enough relevant conversation to be released now in May 2020. But the world has changed so much. Bushfires into COVID-19. The points are still applicable and above all, we need to be kind to one another. If you're able to donate to the RFS bushfire appeal, then great - if not, no stress! Thanks for being here and keep on going!
    Love always, Rien

    • 42 min
    #43 - Give a Crap

    #43 - Give a Crap

    "I hope that I still give a crap when I'm 40 about these issues and everything, and that if I have kids by the time I'm 40 I hope I'm enforcing that notion on them to give a crap. Giving a crap is cool."

    Episode #43 with Sinead Coulter.

    I have known Sinead for almost 20 years now since playing soccer with her eldest brother and one of my best mates, Liam. I'm lucky enough to call the whole Coulter family very close friends and in this conversation with Sinead I got to sit down on zoom with her after a few months of trying to line up a time, it what was likely our longest one on one conversation in all those years.

    A 20 year old with the world at her feet, she is doing so much to make a difference already.

    In this conversation we discuss;
    - How growing up with 2 older brothers shaped her into a natural leader.
    - Learning more outside of the classroom.
    - Volunteering and why she does it.
    - Why she is a blend of her parents personalities and how they work so well.
    - Her definition of Youth Empowerment.
    - Being rigidly flexible.
    - And why giving a crap is cool!

    Thanks for listening. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did bringing it to you.

    Thanks again to Sinead.

    Much love,

    • 44 min
    #42 - Trust the Process

    #42 - Trust the Process

    "I probably didn't rely on that in my twenties, early thirties, you know. Especially when you embark on the journey of becoming a parent and you are looking to other people, but you haven't really questioned what your own values and beliefs are before you ask advice from other people. And I think to sort of trust your own wisdom from an earlier age is probably something that I would say to my younger self."

    Episode #42 with Cat Preston

    I had the pleasure of meeting and learning from Cat in the Story Skills Workshop. A lady from the south of England originally, she has truly called a lot of the world her home for years, berthing her 3 children on different continents, supporting her husband through different opportunities which has seen them live in France and across South East Asia including Malaysia and Hong Kong to name but a few.

    In this conversation we talk about how Cat's life didn't turn out how she'd expected it to be, but how she is truly taking everything in her stride to now be living an eclectic life. Asking important questions such as, "Who's it not for?" and being in a place where she now trusts is her own instincts and wisdom as she approaches half a century in this lifetime; I am proud to share this conversation and learnings from the wonderful, Cat Preston.

    Please enjoy.

    • 59 min
    #41 - Never Eat Yellow Snow

    #41 - Never Eat Yellow Snow

    "Do you want to know what I was doing the last two Valentines days in a row? I drank a full bottle of red, ate spaghetti and passed out on the couch, both years. In seperate houses in Leeds. It was great."

    Episode 41 with my brother - Daniel MacDonald!

    Excited to finally be able to share this episode. In it Dan and I discuss;
    - Love
    - What he wanted to do when he grew up
    - Discipline
    As well as learning to deal with depressed moments when living overseas with friends who you perhaps have never shared anything like that with before, and how he now deals with what other people think of him.

    Thanks again to Daniel for sharing, I hope you enjoy it! And I look forward to listening back in 10 years!

    • 56 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
37 Ratings

37 Ratings

JayMel18 ,

Fresh, Fun and Raw Reality

Looking at starting my own podcast and came across this in my R&D, absolutely love this real snap shot of everyday people's lives. Rien offers a really humble, compassionate and curious interview style which is very endearing. Easy to listen to, heart warming and uplifting. Keep up the great work!

megssyy21 ,

Quality listening!

I was hooked on this series by episode 2. The choice of guest and topics continues to be interesting and fresh. It’s not another podcast that takes it's queues from the news or social media, Rien has made creativity his priority and inspiring listeners his goal. I look forward to hearing more!

j fairs ,


I’ve become obsessed with this podcast. The way Rien conducts the interview is soo beautifully well done and respectful that you just feel good and interested from the start.
I love that each interview, story or topic is going to be something completely different but I will always still end up motivated and inspired by the amazing ‘everyday’ people who don’t necessarily get a chance to tell their story.
So excited for this podcast and all the interviews to come!! 👏🏼

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