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The Science of Making Hope Happen

Three Keys: Goals + Agency + Pathways


Hope is one of my top 5 signature strengths. The science of hope is one of my favorite things.

Let’s kick this one off with the simple, technical definition of hope. In essence, when we have hope we simply believe that our future will be better than our present. When we don’t believe that, we are, literally, hopeless. Being hopeless is a one way ticket to depression. Therefore, knowing how to build our hope is a really important skill for Optimizing.

Shane Lopez (one of the leading researchers in the field) tells us that there are THREE key components to Making Hope Happen.

First, we need to know that our future can be better than our present reality and we need to have a clear Goal we’re after. (What’s yours?)

Then we need to believe we have the power to make it so. He calls this “Agency.” (How’s yours?)

And, finally, we need to be willing to do whatever (!) it takes for however long it takes to make it so. He calls this “Pathways.” (You got ‘em?)

Your +1 mission today, should you choose to accept it:

Spend a moment reflecting on these questions:

• What goal is firing you up these days? How will it make your future better than your present?

• Do you believe you can make it a reality?

• Are you willing to go from Plan A to Z in pursuit of making it happen?

Fantastic. Let’s do this!!!