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“Hope is a fantastic noun and a shit verb.”

Unknown [1]

Just take a moment to reflect on that quote for a minute.

How many times have you heard people say, “I hope ..”?

Hope as a verb is not a strategy for success because hoping for something, doesn’t make it happen.

Having hope, however, is a different story.

People who have hope think in three distinct ways [2]:

  • They think about goals and solutions, rather than focusing on the problem;
  • They generate multiple pathways or options to achieve their goals; and
  • They believe that have agency and the skills to achieve their goals.

So, if you want to help someone generate hope:

  • Help them to think about their goals by asking them about what they want, rather than what they don’t;
  • Help them develop multiple pathways by working with them on different options; and
  • Work with them to identify their strengths and situations when they have achieved similar goals in the past.

[1] Does anyone know the origins of this quote?

[2] David B. Feldman, C. R. Snyder (2005). Hope and the Meaningful Life: Theoretical and Empirical Associations Between Goal–Directed Thinking and Life Meaning. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology: Vol. 24, No. 3, pp. 401-421.