Investing in Hope to Make a Difference


Ocean-Hope

Theodore Roosevelt said that “When you’re at the end of your rope, tie a knot and hold on.”  That is a way of  describing a way of thinking about events in life that has a pathway to a solution in mind instead of  the road to failure.

It is Hope That Motivates People to Move Ahead Beyond Circumstances

The ability to convey adaptive thinking when faced with insurmountable or challenging circumstances in life is an essential skill acquired by those who  create success in the endeavors of life.

Expressing hope is the act of building a bridge that beyond the scope of circumstances—opposition and paving a pathway to a desirable outcome for the future. Almost everyone is concerned about effectiveness– how to find success in life that creates the momentum to get where we want to arrive.

Many available psychological studies support the assumption that hope is a key component distinguishing how well an individual navigates through challenges. Therefore, the influence of hope upon life experience measures the qualitative phenomenon relating to physical health, higher academic functioning, interpersonal functioning, athletic performance, psychosocial adjustment, capacity for self-regulation, and superior ability to face and overcome obstacles. On the other hand, a lack of hope characterizes those easily derailed by obstacles avoidant, ineffective, and have the absence of heartiness through make it through life challenges. Considering factors related to why some people succeed and others do not, there may be many reasons contributing to success, but the central mitigating factor for empowering success, even when other deficiencies exist, is the presence of hope as a cognitive pattern of organizing the thought processes among people who continue to rebound no matter what happens.

Conceptual and Practical Definitions of Hope

An effort to define hope provides a conceptual definition and insight about what it is, what it does, and how it expresses certain behaviors in life experience. Some common definitions of hope are to wish for something with expectation of its fulfillment, or to have confidence; trust, to look forward to with confidence or expectation. For instance, we hope that our children will be successful, the sun will shine, and that everything will always work out. The theological virtue of hope defines the desire and search for a future good, difficult in human terms, but not impossible to attain with God‘s help. The idea of hope in general terms is an expectation that motivates life in the present by a belief that the future holds possibilities that can be achieved. Hope is a way of expressing life that builds a bridge to the future.

A Christian Approach to Hope

The Christian approach to hope provides a Biblical definition of hope pointing to a “confident expectation”. Hope is a firm assurance regarding things that are unclear and unknown (Romans 8:24-25; Hebrews 11:1,7). Christians believe that hope in the present and in the future is a confident expectation that based upon essential beliefs about God, His oversight, involvement, and control over what happens in life. For Christians who understand the basis of their beliefs, hope is an essential ingredient in a life expressed upward toward God and outward toward goals (Proverbs 23:18) . In times of distress, when faced with despair and loss, there are situations where life loses its essential meaning and zest (Lamentations 3:18, Job 7:6). When faced with death and times when there is no apparent hope (Isaiah 38:18, Job 17:15), Christian hope supplies a way of organizing belief into confident expectation that those who put their hope in God will receive assistance (Psalm 28:7). Therefore, Christians believe, and will not be perplexed, put to shame in their hope (Isaiah 49:23) and will be vindicated as they place hopeful expectation in God. As a result, hope and belief is a general attitude of confidence in God’s protection and help (Jeremiah 29:11). Therefore, hope frees Christians from fear and anxiety (Psalm 46:2-3). Christian hope pivots upon beliefs and assumptions about, God, good and evil, life, eternity and life in the present. Hope provides momentum to live with expectation that God is guiding what is happening to a positive outcome.

Overcoming Objections by Reducing the Power of Obstacles

One issue of interest is the way hope energizes and infuses life with momentum to move ahead. Hope provides a clear way that can reduce the power of obstacles to disable supplying an attitude that enables reaching forward with a belief that success is attainable. As a result, believing success is attainable draws attention the way hope increases and by how an individual mentally approaches life. Is there a road to happiness and a set point that achievable to measure happiness through hope as normative as a maxim? An equally important issue to understand is that a state of happiness is a subjective condition. If someone asked you to describe happiness, what elements would the story contain for you?

Automatic Assumptions People Have about Happiness

Research has shown that automatic assumptions of happiness are often incorrect. Often, feeling good about the present state of affairs define hope and happiness in the minds of some people. In fact, something true is that people who feel good in certain circumstances, like winning the lottery, actually become unhappy, dissatisfied, and loose hope in life when they cannot manage their success. Carl Maslow illustrated how people feel a better sense of well-being when they have basic survival needs met rather than monetary gain. Lifestyle always rises to the level of income and beyond; then, what happens is that possessions or positions in life do not seem to bring happiness and hope. People get on the hedonistic treadmill trying to find happiness and gain hope but, “the abundance of life is not in the things we possess” (Jesus). Often, people assume that happiness and having hope is a result of what happens to people in life. However, it is not what happens to people; it is how they construct and interpret those events, it is how a person mindfully experiences those events.

The Pathway to Emotional Well-Being and Engagement with Life

A key to hope, a road to happiness is emotional well-being. People who have hope in life and experience emotional well-being are people who are virtually engaged in life, grounded in meaning and purpose in life. To be happy, to have hope means being fully involved with every detail of life. A life driven by purpose, calling, a sense of belonging and fitting where you are is critical to feeling positive about what is taking place in existence. When people are fully engaged in life with a sense of fitting, belonging– owning a place in life– engaging in positive relationships, then attention redirects our energy away from negatives, which are destructive, limiting, defeating activity that drain vitality from life. You may have heard the expression, “time flies when you are having fun”. Another way to understand this is a state of grace, a “flow state“. The experience of flow happens when you are completely caught up in the things you are doing and time flies.

Increasing the Flow and Seeing the Possibilities

Meeting the challenges of life with hope increases, the flow of life setting an expectation that sees a life that has possibilities, even when faced with extreme opposition. Something that happens within the hope transaction is alternative routes to reach outcome are discovered, and then implemented through pathways thinking. “Pathways thinking” means that when the first route you try is blocked, you can produce alternative routes to get to a destination by thinking flexibly and are able to change course as needed. A challenge faced when attempting to cultivate an increased hope is to how to cultivate thinking patterns that connect to alternatives rather than boxed in solutions. A principle of hope is that hope is a learned experience, as well as, a motivational feeling experienced, which indicates hope is both a phenomenon experienced and a mindset.

A Calling to Faith and Hope

Hope is embraced as a principle of thinking when hope has agency. “Agency thinking” demonstrates thinking with efficacious belief, a sense, that the desired goal can be reached. Borrowing from a Biblical principle in Hebrews 11:1, “faith” in Christian thinking is stirred by reciting, vividly recalling successful ventures of faith in the past. The “evidence of things hoped for” is in the record of those who have the story of success presented in a history of belief. Individuals who spend their time reciting their failures, or being reminded constantly of failure are not likely to accomplish much. However, when there is a sense of agency and belief is cultivated through celebrating success and failure jointly (on the road to success), then high hope can be instilled that enables accomplishment.

One thing for sure in life is that there are always people who can convincingly tell you why you cannot succeed. However, when you want to succeed, a bridge to the future must be constructed with faith, hope, and belief and it needs to begin today, immediately.

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