What’s hope got to do with it?
The best part of being in lockdown is that you get to think, A LOT. Some of the thinking is great and some of it can feel like a trap of personal fortune telling and predictions about the future. I have no doubt that you have questioned your occupation, your relationships, your goals, and aspirations. Be truly honest with yourself and recognize the profoundness of this time at home. Many great philosophers, gurus, oracles had to search and find meaning outside of mainstream life, find the special mountain or stunning landscape. We have our view of uncleaned dishes to create moments that take your breath away
Don’t underestimate the profound thinking that you are doing. We need the time and space to do this. A time to foster and create hope for the next chapter. What is hope about any way? I think the image of a candle burning in the darkness comes to mind… but I would like to offer some science and thought around the Hope formula.
A hopeful psychologist, Snyder, has researched hope in-depth. It turns out that we need three key things to have Real Hope (not the distorted reality, throw caution to the situation type of hope):
1. Goals… our old friend. Approaching life in a goal-orientated way is the first step in fostering hope.
2. Pathways: finding different ways to achieve your goals.
3. Agency: believing that you can make the changes and achieve the goals you have set.
This might sound simple, but in practice, during a lockdown – this may be exactly where the heart and head must be focusing more attention.
Goal: have you thought through your career and life goals, have you achieved these? Set a new goal for the new chapter. The goal may even be: “Find a new goal for the next phase and chapter of life”.
Pathways: think through your different routes you can take to meet your goals:
i. What if: lockdown is extended, pathway to my goal
ii. What if: social distancing continues longer than a month, pathway to my goal
iii. What if: my place of work situation changes, pathway to my goal
iv. What if: my original business idea changes, pathway to my goal
Agency: think and reflect back on your successes in life. Just the successes…we are generally strength blind, but I want you to really think about the great strides and achievements you have made. Unpack what made that work for you and apply this - urgently.
Before I forget… a research note: when studying the impact and benefits of hope. Likelihood to achieve, build positive social relationships, improve wellbeing, reduce anxiety and feel joy are linked to a conscious and focused approach to building personal hope (Niemiec, 2014a).
Wishing you hope, light and new pathways. As always, reach out if you need to learn more or have a coffee (electronically…for now).