As part of the positive psychology movement, there has been some consensus around what it takes to have hope in your life. The reason hope is important is because it recognizes that things will not forever be how they are today. It’s a practical belief that things can and will get better, which alleviates some of the strain and suffering of your present experience.
Per Rick Snyder, a pioneer in the space, there are three ingredients to having hope: An exciting future, a way to achieve it, and a sense that you can do it. And in order to explain this, let’s use the story of being stuck on an island.
The first ingredient is an exciting future. When you have something you’re looking forward to, that you believe in, it helps to contextualize your reality. This is the most presumed element of ‘hope’ because if all you could see for your future is darkness and despair, then what is there to be hopeful about?
In the 'stuck on an island' analogy, this is seeing the mainland on the horizon, a place where your problem of being stuck is solved.
The second ingredient is a way to achieve it. This corresponds with seeing the realistic steps you need to take to connect to that exciting future. The term commonly used to describe this is ‘pathways’, or the different creative ways you could solve the problem and connect your current reality to your future state.
In the 'stuck on an island' analogy, this is assessing your options to reach that new island. Can you swim there? Is there a ferry that goes every 2 hours? Can you be swung between two trees and catapulted? These are all pathways.
Then last, you need to believe that you can do it. You can have an exciting future, and a few plans about how to connect with it, but if you don't think you’re capable of following through on the plans, you won’t be hopeful that things will change. This leans on having the self-efficacy and agency you need to actually succeed with the plan.
In the 'stuck on an island' analogy, can you swim that far? Can you find the ferry dock and afford the trip? Do you know someone who can help you set up a catapult strong enough to fling you across the water?
If you’re currently feeling hopeless, frustrated, and stuck on an island yourself, I want you to read to this closely.
1) I can help you see a better future for yourself, one where you bring enthusiasm, excitement, and intentionality to every moment of your day.
2) I can help with the pathway - I host a 21 day bootcamp that gives you the daily structure you need to be more productive and consistent in your health habits than you’ve ever been.
3) I can help you follow through on it - No matter how many times you’ve disappointed yourself, this process will be unlike anything you’ve ever tried and is designed to bring lasting positive change to your life.
If that’s something you think would put you on the path to enjoying life more and feeling like you’re making the most of it, check out the Super Habits System and we can get started!