#BlogElul 24: Hope

I ended yesterday’s post with the words “I find that hopeful, don’t you?”, and here is today’s theme, hope. I love it.

So today’s thought about hope is going to be a little less cosmic than the one in yesterday’s blog post. I’ll start with a remarkable quote from the great Dr. BrenĂ© Brown:

Hope is not an emotion; it’s a way of thinking or a cognitive process.

Here is the rest of the excerpt from her book, The Gifts of Imperfection:

I was shocked to discover that hope is not an emotion; it’s a way of thinking or a cognitive process. Emotions play a supporting role, but hope is really a thought process made up of what Snyder calls a trilogy of goals, pathways, and agency. In very simple terms, hope happens when:

  • We have the ability to set realistic goals (I know where I want to go).
  • We are able to figure out how to achieve those goals, including the ability to stay flexible and develop alternative routes (I know how to get there, I’m persistent, and I can tolerate disappointment and try again).
  • We believe in ourselves (I can do this!).

So, hope is a combination of setting goals, having the tenacity and perseverance to pursue them, and believing in our own abilities.

This is so earth-shaking – hope is something that we can choose to have, regardless of our circumstances. In other words, if you are feeling hopeless because the world is such a chaotic place right now, there is a solution.

The key to hopelessness is action.

Go out and make a difference, in some small way, for some person in the world, and you will find yourself with hope. That’s how it works.

Shabbat Shalom to all!!

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