December 15, 2023

Restoring Hope

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Posted by Sharmarke Hujale

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2 min read

The human mind is amazing, yet it can sometimes get the best of us. We love comfort, and we often seek it because it helps us avoid confrontations and do the hard work. Most importantly, by avoiding confrontations, we also avoid potential failure. But we must realize that failure is a natural part of growth and improvement.

The Essence of Hope

So, how can we develop a mindset that allows us to look beyond our failures and tackle our problems head-on?

The answer lies in cultivating hope.

Hope fosters the belief that an imagined future can be turned into reality through action.

Dr. Shane Lopez, a psychologist studying hope for a living, describes hopeful people as those who '...believe that the future will be better than the present. They believe they have the power to make it so.'

This is different from wishful thinking, which is not grounded in reality and leads to inaction.

Components of Hope

There are two components to hope—faith and hard work. It involves the conscious effort of imagining a brighter future and creating a plan to support it.

But maintaining hope is no easy task. Balancing the acceptance of uncertainties while believing in a brighter future is a tough challenge.

No wonder we often choose comfort in a heartbeat.

Yet, the problem with excessive comfort is that it becomes harmful in the long term.

The amount of self-belief in your capabilities determines the actions you take.

And when there's a lack of positive imagery, it leads to negative thoughts that impact your mood, performance, and even your body.

Cultivating hope contributes to greater internal satisfaction and plays a key factor in your experiences and performance.

Great athletes understand this well—they vividly imagine themselves performing well.

You've to believe that the future can be better or else hope is unattainable.

A third and final component to hope is acceptance of the future outcome despite your imagination and strategic planning.

You can't control the outcome, but you can control how you react to the outcome.

That's how you build resilience.

So when things don't go your way don't abandon hope.

Reflection Prompt

Think of a situation in your life where hope played a crucial role. How did maintaining a hopeful outlook change the outcome for you? Did it lead to new opportunities, personal growth, or maybe a surprising turn of events?

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