The power of hope is often mentioned only in times of crisis. In fact, it is a major component in motivating us to work hard to succeed in our goals. We know that being successful is a hard process. There are a lot of sacrifices before victory is achieved. One goes through many ups and downs during the journey.
During the down times, it is always hard to keep going forward; to stop ourselves from quitting; to decide to keep going on. It is during these times that our determination matters the most. What motivates us to keep going on is our hope for better things to come.
What is Hope?
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines hope as “desire accompanied by expectation of, or belief in fulfillment.” The Cambridge Dictionary defines it as “something good that you want to happen in future, or a confident feeling about what will happen in the future.”
What these definitions have in common is the concept of hope as a desire for a better future. But in reality, we always don’t get what we hope for. Yet we still hope. We have an intrinsic belief that as long as we have hope, things will always turn out for the best.
I am prepared for the worst but hope for the best.Benjamin Disraeli
This concept is hard to define or describe. Dr. Jerome Groopman, M.D. defines hope based on what his patients taught him as an oncologist for 30 years. He was quoted by Dr. Asa Andrew in his book The Anatomy of Health:
Hope is one of our central emotions, but we are often at a loss when asked to define it. Many of us confuse hope with optimism, a prevailing attitude that things will turn out for the best. But hope differs from optimism. Hope does not arise from being told to think positively, or from hearing an overly rosy forecast.Dr. Jerome Groopman, M.D.
Hope, unlike optimism, is rooted in unalloyed reality. Although there is no uniform definition of hope, I found one that seemed to capture what my patient had taught me. Hope is the elevating feeling we experience when we see — in the mind’s eye — a path to a better future. Hope acknowledges the significant obstacles and deep pitfalls along that path. True hope has no room for delusion.
The Power of Hope
Hope is more than optimism or positivity. It is not just an attitude or a mindset; it is more of a belief. A belief in oneself as well as a belief in a power bigger than you. This belief also assumes that there is someone or something outside of you, that is more powerful than you, that is looking after you and helps you when you need it most. All you need is to ask and believe, and continue believing even when it seems you are being pulled in another direction.
If you read the autobiographies of many successful individuals; you will find that most of them never lost hope in times of crisis. In fact, their hope became stronger during these times. They surrender to a power beyond themselves. They believed in that power to help them get through their struggles. That is why they never gave up on their dreams. Sometimes, they didn’t get what they want. But because they kept working hard towards their goals, they always found a way to succeed; even if it wasn’t in the original way they intended to.
Hope is being able to see that there is light despite the darkness.Desmond Tutu
There are many stories to attest to the power of hope in our lives. From miracles to coincidences, serendipity, and even the sight of a beautiful sunrise; we find hope every where, every day as long as we keep believing. The power of hope is what enables us to still keep on smiling, despite the negative circumstances.
What are your hopes for this new year? What are you hopeful for each day?