What is “hope”?
There is a bit of a feeling of ‘hopelessness’ doing the rounds right now. Situations are ‘hopeless’, people are ‘hopeless’, and our future is mired in foreboding ‘hopeless’ inevitability.
We all respond to seemingly ‘hopeless’ situations in different ways. You might run, fight, or maybe bury your head in the sand and wait for it all to blow over.
How do you respond when things feel kind of hopeless?
What is hope?
1. “A feeling of expectation and desire for a particular thing to happen”
Hope attaches happiness and wellbeing to the occurrence of a specific outcome or result. This requires very little action from the hopeful individual. You might cast a vote, buy a lottery ticket, or show up to support your sports team. From that point on you hand your hope into the hands of someone or something else.
2. A thing, situation or a person
In Star Wars Obi Wan Kenobi was Princess Leah’s apparent “only hope”.
Hope might be a treatment, an operation or a final attempt at fixing a problem. For Nic and I it was finding a bag that was our last hope for finding our passports (more about that in the episode).
3. A mindset
Hope is a mindset of hopefulness. It is driven by an internal belief in better. It believes that no matter the state of things right now, something can still be done.
We need this type of hopefulness in our world right now. Not a hope that is pinned on one court ruling, or a certain person becoming the leader of a movement.
Hope that relies on me winning and you losing is not true hope.
Hopefulness is a hope that transcends everything the world can throw at us. It flies higher than the cynicism that tells us that we are doomed and is courageous and strong. It is focussed on higher priorities and the power we all have to create change in any moment where we are, with whatever it is we have at our disposal.
According to Charles Snyder in his Hope Theory, hopeful people have three core beliefs running through their outlook on life: Goals, Pathways, and Agency.
- Know what matters and where they want to get to (goals).
- Don’t give up when things don’t go to plan. They are dedicated to finding alternative routes towards their goals (pathways).
- Don’t pin their hopes on external forces or outcomes. They take responsibility for their own response to disappointment, they don’t allow cynicism to beat them and they know that they always have a choice that can lead in a better direction (agency).
Every human has the ability to change the world in small and incremental ways. When you embrace hopefulness you understand this truth. You see the small things as the most important things because they add up into the big things that have the deepest roots.
Culture is founded on small things. It is a big picture created by incremental small habits of individuals over time. If you’re a person of hopefulness you understand this at a deep level.
Hear more on this subject when you listen to this week’s episode:
Alternatively you can watch it on YouTube:
Resources Mentioned in The Show:
Lumie Body Clock (if you struggle with getting up when it’s still cold and dark outside)
Five Days to Your Best Year Ever (a course that has truly changed my life through understanding the power of goals in a revolutionary way)