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Why Hope Matters in a World of Uncertainty

Stuff happens.

Just this last week a good friend shared that her cancer had returned.  Another friend has been unemployed for months and is uncertain about if or when another job will show up.  And let’s not even start talking about the people touched by the tragedy in Washington D.C. or the floods in Colorado.  And what about the rest of the world?  Unfortunately, no matter who we are, at some point stuff happens.

hope, hopes, uncertainty, optimism, positive attitude, midlife

The question then remains—what happens next?

Fortunately, some people seem to bounce back and stay focused and positive about the future regardless of the situation.   While many words describe such a person, recent research suggests that anyone who keeps going with a positive attitude, no matter how uncertain their future might appear, is considered a high-hope individual.   So if stuff can and will happen to each of us, learning why hope matters and how we too might be one of the highly hopeful is certainly SMART information.

If you’re anything like me you probably think of hope as something related to wishful or faith-based thinking.   In that light, hope may sound nice, but never seems that practical. However, with the advent of studies during the last 50 years in the growing field of Positive Psychology a new approach called “Hope Theory” has been born.

Professor C.R. Snyder from the University of Kansas, and author of The Psychology of Hope: You Can Get There From Here, was one of the leaders.  Snyder’s theory of hope emphasized goal-directed thinking along with, “the perceived capacity to find routes to desired goals…in conjunction with the motivations to use those routes.”  With hope re-defined in such a practical way, a Hope Scale was developed to track and measure the levels of hope in both adults and children.  This short test can quickly determine whether a person can be rated as either High-Hope or Low-Hope.

Continue reading this post on Kathy Gottberg’s blog, Smart Living 365

Kathy Gottberg

Kathy Gottberg has been writing on all sorts of topics for over 25 years with three published books and hundreds of articles. But her passion today is exploring ideas and experiences that help to create a meaningful, sustainable, compassionate and rewarding life for herself and others. Beyond that, she lives with Thom, her best friend and soul mate of 36 years, along with their fur-baby Kloe in La Quinta, CA. Instagram: gottgreen

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Cathy Chester

Tuesday 26th of November 2013

In my world hope is everything. The power of positive thinking is based on always having hope that things will get better, and even if they can't, to find something in your life to hang on to. Hope is always there for us. Always.

Now onto your blog!

Kathy @ SMART Living 365

Tuesday 26th of November 2013

Hi Cathy! First, thank you for the comment here AND on my blog. You know that it is always appreciated.

And yes, I can image how important a hopeful perspective is for a person who is challenged on a daily basis. As you say, believing that things can get better is what helps us all wake up in the morning. It's exciting that there is so much new research and focus on how hopefulness can help everyone from students to those of us in Midlife and beyond.

May we all stay hopeful and Happy Thanksgiving! ~Kathy

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