Workplace: Hope Again

Anyone who has had a hopeless day, week, month or year knows that hope is what pulls us through. Hope for things to change, to become better, to get a little easier, to be a tiny bit more happy, or to be a large-bit more joy-filled. Hope is an underpinning of resilience and plays a part in our willingness to get up every day. Hope is what we need. Hope is as vital to humans as is oxygen. People hunger for hope because Hope helps us survive challenging times.

As shared last week: Hope is a strategy – an affirmative strategy that changes minds, affects hearts, and moves behaviors. Hope inspires people to want better than they have and moves people to act in ways that change election outcomes, that causes purchases to be made, and causes behaviors that can help others. Hope is not a passive, sitting around verb. Hope is an active, change-making verb!

Hope is a topic again this week because the previously mentioned book I’ve been researching along with its corresponding files have been unearthed. Again today, discover more about hope as a topic, headline, sub-headline, book title, song lyric, and more. The word hope is found across all arenas of discussion and action.

During the Iowa 2020 February 3rd caucuses, the poster “Hope over fear” was in plain sight. Adding to last week’s notes about the 2008 and 2016 campaign uses of hope. Promising hope for better times is a political strategy.

When organizational leaders provide clear and positive information, feedback, and encouragement, hope is grown. When we see others achieve difficult or thought-to-be impossible things, we find hope. Increased knowledge and understanding can create hope that goals are attainable and that dreams can be achieved.

Beware of false hope. While watching a television program in 2007 about meth-addictions, false hope was spoken to because sometimes hope fails to lead to action; fails to becoming responsible for one’s self; and fails to create alertness that prompts actions to help others. False hope happens when an initial promise of forthcoming good is not delivered upon and does not result in any action(s) being taken.

In less controversial and disheartening arenas, Hope is the name of cities in Idaho and Arkansas (President Clinton grew up in Hope, Arkansas).  As well, you’ll find New Hope, Good Hope, Hope Hull, Mount Hope, Cape of Good Hope, and Hopewell in states and regions around the world.

Hope is also a first name and a family (last) name. As a first name used for girls and sometimes boys, Hope means: “desire of fulfillment” or “having a positive expectation” or “having the virtue of hope.” As an English or Scottish family or surname, Hope derives its meaning from topography and means: “a person living in a small, enclosed valley or in a sloping hollow between two hills.”

Hope is included in the name of many churches and religious non-profits. Hope is in the name of many social-good-doing non-profits. See the list that follows.

In addition to serving as a person, organization, and place name, hope is a strategy or it wouldn’t show up in every aspect of our daily lives and news feeds. HOPE can be a model for thinking. Here are some hope thought-models that I have developed.

  • HOPE: Heal yourself; Offer to help others; People – surround yourself with positive people; Energy – protect your energies, stay healthy.
  • HOPE:  Hearts Outpouring Positive Emotions! Hope is necessary for the living of life; the prevention of suicide; and the management of depression. Mental health studies from around the world validate how important having hope is for life to be lived, let alone lived to a person’s fullest potentials.
  • HOPE:  Hard decisions and Heroic acts made from an Optimistic Outlook and with Peaceful, Present attention Evoke change and action. This version of the thought-model first appeared in my 2003 article for the Idaho Press Tribune (now, The Idaho Press) and included the following details.
  • Heroic daily actions include decision making based on multiple perspectives, asking for input even when you’re afraid you won’t like what you’ll hear, and saying no to anything that is against what you believe is right. Heroic acts and hard decisions are being made every day. They are the acts that bring hope back into the world.
    • Optimistic Outlook ranges from having a positive attitude to having an overly optimistic outlook often labeled “Pollyanna Thinking” which stays so focused on the positive that a blind-siding can occur because of not paying attention to multiple perspectives and possibilities. Having an optimistic outlook means that you see the challenges and can still find positive solutions that lead to action. Global research shows that “optimists live longer.”
    • Peaceful, Present attention describes the way in which you can listen to others as you work together, as you serve customers, and as you interact with friends and family. Peaceful attention does not mean you agree with everything someone else is saying or doing. It does mean listening long enough to understand other points of view and reasoning together in order to solve problems.
    • Evoke change and action refers to the actions that occur when peaceful listening and optimistic thinking result in change-oriented decisions that serve the highest good of a situation or of a group of people. Again, hope is not a passive, sitting around verb. Hope is an active, change-making verb!

Across all industries, nations, religions, and topics, HOPE is presented again and again. Hope is a verb – an act of faith that wants results; results that are based on other actions taken to change things.

Consider too the mythological story of Pandora’s box. Pandora’s curiosity gets the best of her and she opens the forbidden box letting all manner of harms and very few joys out into the world. The last thing remaining in Pandora’s box is hope. Meaning that hope can be found to save us from the hurts of the world.

Without hope, we’re left with pessimism. Without hope, what do we aspire to being and becoming? Without hope, where is our foundation for joy? Without hope, a new business would never be started. Without hope, we won’t learn new skills, innovate, or strive to make things the best they can be.      Hope – it does a body and soul great good as well as contributing to a longer life!

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