To have hope is to want an outcome that makes your life better in some way. It not only can help make a tough present situation more bearable but also eventually improve our lives because envisioning a better future motivates us to take the steps to make it happen.
I don’t know about you but I find myself saying “I’ll be glad when this is over.” whether it a bad day, or trial in my life. I have hope it will be better when it’s over.
Whether we think about it or not, hope is a part of everyone’s life. Everyone hopes for something. It’s an inherent part of being human. Hope helps define what we want in our future and is part of the self-narrative about the lives we all have running inside our minds.
So, What Is Hope Exactly?
The definition of hope can differ depending on the person doing the talking. When people speak about hope in a spiritual context, it might mean believing good things will happen with faith in a higher power. They might direct their hopes outward in prayer.
For others, it might mean always looking on the bright side and seeing challenges as opportunities. In other words, always “hoping for the best.”
Webster’s diction makes “hope” seem close to “wish” or “to cherish a desire with anticipation: to want something to happen to be true.”
Whatever the details, hope in general means a desire for things to change for the better, and to want that better, and to want the better situation very much.
Hope Is Not Optimism
Hope is not the same as optimism. An optimistic generally are more hopeful than others. On the other hand, the most pessimistic person you’ve ever met can be hopeful about something. Hope is very specific and focused, usually on just one issue.
Such as “I hope I get that job I interviewed for” or “I hope he/she calls me.” Or, for a little kid during Christmas, “I hope I get the bike I wanted.”
Why Hope Is So Vital
Most people associate hope with a dire situation. People hope to get out of difficult circumstances. That is often when people do find themselves hoping fervently. But, hope can also provide the key to making every day better.
That’s because just envisioning something hopeful-thr child seeing themself riding they’re new bike for example -gives them a moment of happiness.
According to Psychology Today, it can make present difficulties much easier to bear.
For example Children who grew up in poverty but had success later in life all had one thing in common-hope. Hope involves “planning and motivation and determination” to get what one hopes for.
The Deeper Meaning
In a way, having hope links your past and present to the future. Say you have a vision for what you hope will happen. Whether it does not, just envisioning it can make you feel better. And if it’s something you can somewhat control- like the kids working to get out of poverty-then hope can motivate you to take whatever steps you need to take.
For example: my Grandfather worked in the coal mines all his life, and my father started working in the coal mine at age 12. At age 17 he joined the Military and retired from there, he came home then began working as a painter. To provide for his family, yes we were poor but not as poor as my grandparents were. Today I am not as poor as I was growing up. It is the hope of being better off that motivates us.
The author Dr. Neel Burton who writes about emotions, writes that he always asks patients for what they hope for, because is they say “nothing” then that is a sign of depression or worse.
Having hope is important to the very act of being human. Hope is a match in a dark tunnel, a moment of light, just enough to reveal the path ahead and ultimately the way out.