Hope as a Strategy
We have all heard the old saying “Hope is not a Strategy” especially when planning and executing business growth and development, however, having hope is such a powerful thing that without it life can really be a chore and we tend to focus on a self-fulfilling life of despair but, can anyone be hopeful, can anyone choose hope over despair? The answer, of course, is yes!
Regardless of your present situation, background, personality, upbringing, or circumstances, you can be a person of hope. Here are three steps which can help you get there.
1. Understand Hope Is a Choice
There is a story from the great fires in Chicago in 1871 where the owner of a business which had burnt to the ground, the man arrived at the ruins the next morning carrying a table. He set up the table in the midst of the burnt ruins which was once his livelihood, and above it, he placed a sign that said, “Everything lost except wife, children, and hope. Business will be resumed as usual tomorrow morning.”
That man’s response I truly admire. After such a heavy loss, where did he get his hope? Was it from his circumstances? Definitely not, or was it from good timing? No. Perhaps he got hope from other victims of the fire? There’s no indication that he did. How many others faced the future with such positive determination? If this man saw a bright future for himself and his family, it was because he made a choice to have hope. He saw a bright future and focussed on that rather than the burnt remains. He still had the most valuable possessions his wife, children and hope.
Hope is in the DNA of men and women who learn from their losses. When times are tough, they choose hope, knowing that it will motivate them to learn and turn them from victims into victors.
Hope is the faith that, together, we can make things better. Optimism is the belief that things will get better. It takes no courage to be an optimist, but it takes a great deal of courage to have hope.”
I believe everyone is capable of choosing hope. Does it take courage? Yes. Because our hopes can be disappointed. But I am convinced that the courage of choosing hope is always rewarded.
2. Change Your Thinking
In general, we get what we expect from life. A great poet once quipped:
I bargained with Life for a penny, and life would pay no more,
However, I begged at evening when I counted my scanty store
For life is a just employer,
He gives you what you ask
But once you have set the wages,
Why you must bear the task.
I don’t know why it is true, but it is when get what we focus on most.
Norman Cousins remarked: The main trouble with despair is that it is self-fulfilling. People who fear the worst tend to invite it. Those with their heads that are down can’t scan the horizon for new opportunities. The restaurant which serves take away and home delivery, the UBER driver who now delivers food and shopping instead of people. These are opportunities to review your business model. You can rest assured those bursts of energy and inspiration do not spring from a spirit of defeat. Ultimately, helplessness leads to hopelessness.
If your expectations for life are negative, you end up experiencing a lot of negatives. And those negatives are compounded and become especially painful because negative expectations cause a person not to learn from their losses but to continue to dwell on them.
The good news is that you don’t have to live with negative thinking. You can change your thinking from a negative mindset, in which you feel hopeless and you don’t learn from your losses and you want to do is to give up. You can choose a positive mindset in which you believe things can get better, you learn from your mistakes, and you never quit.
If you have been a negative thinker then understand you can make a decision every day to try to renew your hope, change your thinking for the better, and believe that good things can and will happen to you. Doing these things can literally change your life.
Remember it takes no more energy or effort to think positively than it does to think negatively. It’s as simple as making a choice to do so.
3. Create Small Victories
If you are able to tap into your hope and become more positive in your thinking, that’s a great start. But it’s not enough. Positive thinking must be followed by positive doing. If you want to succeed big, then start by trying for a small victory. Nothing encourages hope like success.
If you are able to win small victories, it encourages you. It raises your morale. When you experience a win once, you begin to understand how it works. You get better at succeeding, and after winning several victories you begin to sense that bigger victories are nearly within your grasp.
Creating a positive environment with positive experiences can go a long way to encourage you to keep hoping, keep trying, and keep learning.
Creating small wins can change your entire outlook on life.. When people see even a small improvement they gain hope. And hope is a powerful motivation for growth, change and learning.
Alex Sipala is an avid learner, trusted mentor and celebrated business Coach who walks the walk. He mentors and empowers thousands of business leaders and achievers globally. His mission is too “Positively Influence the influencers” and assist business leaders and high achievers make a positive impact. Alex is happily married to his wife Jacqueline and he is a proud father of six children.