There are days when we might lack hope. Life has its ups and downs, but sometimes it brings more downs. In those times, the most successful and happy people know how to find hope and hold onto it. Why is hope important and what brings you hope?
What Is Hope?
According to dailymeditation.com, "To be hopeful is to look on the future positively, to see opportunity in challenges (rather than challenges in opportunities), to look on the bright side of life." Wikipedia states that "Hope is an optimistic attitude of mind that is based on an expectation of positive outcomes related to events and circumstances in one's life or the world at large." As a verb, its definitions include: "expect with confidence" and "to cherish a desire with anticipation."
As summarized in Psychology Today, "In 1991, the eminent positive psychologist Charles R. Snyder and his colleagues came up with Hope Theory. The person who has hope has the will and determination that goals will be achieved, and a set of different strategies at their disposal to reach their goals."
Why Is Hope Important?
An article in dailymeditation.com explains the importance of hope:
- Motivates positive actions that will lead to positive results
- Is a natural stress reliever
- Helps strengthen the immune system
- Improves social relationships (you have more friends being an optimist)
- Makes you happy
- Broadens and builds your mind
Research, as summarized in the same Psychology Today article, confirms that hope is related to positive outcomes. Studies, for example, show that hope is related to higher GPA, academic achievement, and graduation rates.
Hope allows people to approach problems with a mindset and strategy-set suitable to success, thereby increasing the chances they will actually accomplish their goals.
What Brings You Hope?
Last Sunday at church, our minister asked "What brings you hope?" Congregation members texted their inputs which were shared in real-time on a big screen. Here are 12 things that bring people hope. What's on your list?
- The dawning of a new day
- Nature and gardening (plant a seed and watch it grow)
- The pursuit of passionate purpose, as well as its achievement, that provides a sense of meaning and reward
- Joyful and playful sounds and sights of children and people of all ages
- Experiencing the best the world has to offer: music, art, beauty, dancing, singing, learning, creativity, innovation, and knowledge
- Choice, freedom, and free-will (my ability to change the situation)
- History (I've done it before, so I know I can do it again)
- Connections with proper, positive people, a higher power, and the web of life
- Regeneration in all forms as stimulated by breathing, sleep, meditation, prayer, spirit, impermanence, and quiet
- Witnessing or experiencing acts of love, goodness, and kindness
- Sense of competence and positive feedback on an idea
- Sense of progress toward a goal
Life has its ups and downs, but hope carries us through. The most successful and happy people know how to find it and hold onto it. What brings you hope?
Theresa M. Szczurek (copyright 2017. all rights reserved). www.TMSworld.com, www.PursuitofPassionatePurpose.com, www.RadishSystems.com