SAN DIEGO. Jan. 10, 2017– Hope is the spark of the spirit that keeps us moving through difficult and trying times; the beacon of light when we are struggling to find our way out of the darkness. Adversity can be overwhelming and it is easy to get swept up in a feeling of hopelessness, but like the cherry blossom- a symbol of new birth, you endure the harshness of the cold and emerge anew. Hope does indeed spring eternal.
Hope is an optimistic attitude of mind, based on an expectation of positive outcomes related to events and circumstances in one’s life or the world at large, according to Wikipedia.
For many, it is difficult to imagine being hopeful due to the extent of which the global community is plagued by hunger, homelessness, joblessness, economic instability, over-population, disease, violence, war and risks of extinction.
The ability for any community, state, country or the world at large to flourish and survive hinges upon the number of individuals who embrace hope and the inherent belief that their lives can be improved and made better.
Strength lies within a collective composed of those who are hopeful thinkers coming together and solving problems within the spectrum of common goals, objectives and outcomes.
“There is nothing so well known as that we should not expect something for nothing-but we all do and call it Hope”.–Edgar Howe
Great historic figures, such as American presidents George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, and leaders such as Gandhi, Martin Luther King and others demonstrated that their messages of hope could change millions of lives, impact history and create permanent and profound change in the world.
It is speculated that those individuals who possess hope are optimistic in response to adversity and are initiators who can become powerful in their ability to effect change.
“Hope has the power to make bad times temporary,” says Shane L. Lopez, Ph.D., in his book “Hope Matters.”
Rebecca Gorres, with the University College Utrecht, proposed that situational hope, but not dispositional hope, was correlated to “divergent thinking,” or the ability to come up with higher quantities of ideas for problem solving–thereby providing a higher number of strategies to overcome obstacles and reach the attainment of a goal.
Hopeful thinking has three major components, according to Lopez, from the Gallup Organization, in his work “The Psychology of Hope,” published by Azusa Pacific University:
- Goals thinking: Goals are the targets of desire.
- Waypower thinking: The belief that pathways may be developed to reach a goal.
- Willpower thinking: The belief that sustained momentum to reach a goal is achievable on a developed pathway.
Those with the ability to be hopeful thinkers are generally healthier, recover faster from illness or injury, are not prone to depression, find meaning and purpose in their lives, set clear goals, possess high self-esteem, make better grades in school and are overall more highly successful in life.
“Once you choose hope, anything’s possible.”–Christopher Reeve
For those who wish to become more hopeful, Lopez recommends finding hope from a variety of places, possibly by reading stories about heroes and those who have overcome great obstacles, forming relationships with those who are hopeful thinkers or joining a group which encourages an atmosphere of hopefulness, and participating in counseling.
Hope can be enjoyed by people from all walks of life and personal circumstances who wish to grow from within and embrace hope as a personal choice.
Gaining tools to become stronger and more resilient from within will provide the added self-confidence and motivation necessary to overcome life’s obstacles, while creating functional pathways to reach personal goals.
Whether utilized for work, school, relationships, or family life, being hopeful will help to create an optimally fulfilling and more rewarding personal life.
Being hopeful also helps to make the world a better place–leading by example for those who wish to live a life filled with hope.
“Hope” is the thing with feathers-
That perches in the soul-
And sings the tune without the words-
And never stops-at all…
Until next time, enjoy the ride in good health!