I was thinking the other day about what is one thing that we need most amidst the cultural increase of anger, uncertainty, and despair. I thought of the essential nature of hope, and the lack of it in today’s cultural narratives. The lyrics of this month’s song by Carrie Newcomer say it well, “The shadows of this world will say, there’s no hope why try anyway?”
What is hope and why is it essential to living? Hope is a desire for a certain thing to happen, or a feeling of trust in a positive outcome even when things are difficult. Hope is essential to dreaming of a better future and creative problem solving. It is a flame in the heart that gives us the fuel to dream and move forward even in the face of uncertainty.
Without hope we no longer extend the energy to imagine something better and take action to make it real. Hopelessness engenders despair and inaction. And if you take a daily dose of the 24/7 news cycle, there is plenty of information to engender despair. Life circumstances can also engender despair – a health or financial crisis, the loss of a job, home, or loved one.
We must have hope to dream and create a compelling future for ourselves and others.
Hope is a spiritual practice and something we can develop to lift our spirits and inspire our creativity. Hope opens up possibility. Research has shown that it decreases stress and improves our health and quality of life. It opens and lifts the heart which fuels love and generosity, improving relationships.
So, feed yourself a daily dose of hope and optimism. Here are a few ways:
- Have a daily gratitude practice. Write down at least three things you’re grateful for on a daily basis. It could be simple things like a loved one, a meal, clean running water and sunshine.
- Read articles daily on one of the many good news websites like the Daily Optimist, the Good News Network, or Daily Good.
- Listen to upbeat music and dance around your kitchen in the morning or sing in the shower.
- Create a vision of your compelling future and take one action each day to make it real.
What we focus on grows. With daily practice your hope muscle will strengthen which will make a positive difference in your outlook, sense of well-being and life experience.
Sabrina Roblin, CPCC, a former executive and co-founder of Life Reinspired, is happily enjoying her best chapter of life. She now helps others do the same. Schedule a free Life Reinspired Strategy Session or email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.