• Hope: Some rules of thumb for using it to get what you want from life

    by  • November 18, 2013 • Goal Setting, Transform your life

    hope“I used to think hope was just a warm, vague feeling. It was that sense of excitement that I got before Christmas when I was a child. It lingered a while and then disappeared.” – Shane J. Lopez

    Hope is more than a fleeting emotion. It helps you to get great results. To be positive. To feel good. It motivates you to make good decisions. And to act on them.

    Hope sets the tone for how you think of goals. It helps you to tackle obstacles. It boosts your confidence. And it makes you happy.

    On the other hand when you have a low level of hope it leads to lethargy. And to negative or passive emotions that drain the energy of your attempt to achieve a goal.

    Hope sets the tone for how you think

    Goals are the targets of your thinking. The targets of your life as you want to live it. When you articulate the goals that you expect and believe you can achieve them it gives a new sense of meaning to your life.

    Hope leads to success in life. It helps you to perform better in school, at work and in your personal life. When you are excited about what is next you put more effort into it. You see beyond the challenges that you face.

    If you are a hopeful person you will believe: 1.The future will be better than it is at present. 2. You have the power to make it better. 3. You will do this by finding the best of the many pathways that lead to your goals. 4. You know that none of these pathways is free of obstacles. 5. Success lies in overcoming these obstacles.

     Hope helps you to find pathways to your goals

    You set about pursuing a goal by finding pathways to lead you to it. And when you have high hopes for a goal you are good at finding these pathways. And at selecting the best one to follow.

    This is why having hope is so important for you. And better still when your pursuit of a goal is impeded it helps you to find alternative pathways to it. When others give up as a person with a deeper sense of hope you know that you can find a way forward.

    And as you get nearer to the goal your pathway thinking gets more precise. You begin to use it as you home-in on your goal. For it helps you to make whatever last minute adjustments you need to achieve your goal.

    How hope improves your capacity to achieve goals

    People who have a high capacity for hope use a range of emotions to achieve their goals. They experience joy, awe and excitement when they think about their goals. This is more than optimism. You don’t just think the future will be better than today. You firmly believe it will be better and you know you can do what is needed to make it better.

    You are able to pick great goals. Ones that you are excited about pursuing and that fit in with your strengths.  You know how to make them happen. So you use your ability to spot and seek out pathways that will lead you to them.

    You learn to expect obstacles. And to spot them before they block the way forward for you. But it is your ability to find ways around obstacles that sets you apart from less successful people. You are also good at judging when obstacles are insurmountable. And then at finding other pathways to take you forward to your goal.

    How to increase your capacity to hope

    Revisit your goals. Identify those goals where hope of achieving them has diminished. Focus your attention on other goals instead. Ones that you are now more hopeful of achieving.

    Use positive self talk to motivate yourself to achieve these goals. Become more aware about how you think about your ability to achieve your goals. And use your problem solving ability to find new pathways to these goals.

    Revisit the five core beliefs of people who excel at using hope. Work at upgrading each of these five beliefs. And at updating your ability to use them to achieve what you want from life.

    Your social network can be a source of support for your hope. It includes your best friends, role models and others. To boost your hope it helps to update your social network. And then to work with it to increase your ability to use hope to achieve your goals in life.


    Jessica Colemen Optimal Functioning: A Positive Psychology Handbook




    We can use positive psychology to improve how we live our lives. So I love to share my understanding of it with others. To help them grow and flourish as I have. The posts on this blog set out to do just that. You need a lot of skill to make a relationship a happy one. So I write about relationship skills. Skills you can learn how to use in your own relationship. To keep it in good shape. To solve problems that may arise in it. And to improve the quality of your relationship. To make both of you happy.