I want to share an idea that has been rolling around in my mind and inspiring me ever since I learned it.
I was listening to a Pod Save the People Podcast featuring Brene Brown earlier this month, and this idea stuck out to me and stretched my brain wide into new territory, in the best possible way.
The idea is this:
Hope is not a feeling. It’s a behavioral sequence that can be modeled.
Hope is the opposite of despair, which is the idea that tomorrow will be exactly like today. In my humble opinion, the feeling that tomorrow will be exactly like today—with all its same struggles, faults and suffering—sounds a whole lot like the concept of hell.
So the idea that the opposite of this—hope—is not just a flimsy feeling that must be conjured out of nowhere, but instead, a consistent behavioral pattern that can be learned and repeated—well fills my heart right up to the brim with optimism.
The behavioral pattern to create hope is this:
You create a goal. It is specific and measurable, and it is NOT based on how others will respond to your action. (For example, my goal could be to write and publish five blog posts in a month, not to get 500 visitors or 50 new subscribers. I can control my ability to write and publish; I have no control over how people respond to my writing.)
You can find a pathway. You know how to get from here to there. And what’s more, you know that if you fail, you have the capacity, tenacity and grit to create a plan B pathway and use that instead.
- You have agency. You believe in your ability to make it happen. You are empowered to create change in your own life and in your own circle of influence.
For all the juicy details, listen to the podcast here.
With this new understanding of hope, I pose the following challenge to you:
Knowing that hope not just a feeling to conjure out of thin air, but a behavioral pattern you have the power to implement for yourself…how can you give yourself the gift of hope today?
- Can you tweak a goal to bring it into your own sphere of influence?
- Can you seek support from a friend to help you find encouragement to try another tactic?
- Can you prove to yourself, in one small way, that you have the ability to make one tiny aspect of your life better and more beautiful than it was today?
I know you can, and I can too.
Have a beautiful day, friend!