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Discovering the Strength of Hope

by | Dec 28, 2022 | Strengths

man walking into light

Hope is one of the five character strengths that comprise the Virtue of Transcendence. 

Transcendence describes strengths that help you connect to the larger universe and provide meaning.

What is hope?

The character strength of hope has to do with positive expectations about the future. It involves optimistic thinking and focusing on good things to come. 

Hope is more than a feel-good emotion. It is an action-oriented strength involving agency, the motivation and confidence that goals can be reached, and also that many effective pathways can be devised in order to get to that desired future. 

Optimism is closely linked with having a particular explanatory style (how we explain the causes of bad events). People using an optimistic explanatory style interpret events as external, unstable and specific. Those using a pessimistic explanatory style interpret events as internal, stable and global.

Why is hope of value?

  • Hopeful people persevere, especially when challenged. They are more resilient.
  • Hope and optimism correlate with active problem solving. Hope is associated with conscientiousness, diligence and the ability to delay gratification. 
  • Hope is one of the two character strengths most associated with life satisfaction and wellbeing.

A couple of questions to consider

  • What role does hope play during challenging times in your life and how do you express that hope?
  • How do you balance what is realistic and what is unrealistic in terms of your expression of hope and optimism?

Some things that you can do to practise hope

  • Document three accomplishments with your relationship partner and consider how each can inspire your relationship in the future.
  • Use your strength of hope to work on tasks that will benefit you, your co-workers or your organisation in the longer term. Consider how your work today will contribute to the future.
  • Consider a struggle you are having. Write down two optimistic thoughts that bring comfort. Add two actions you can take to move small steps forward. 

For more information on the strength of hope, go to https://www.viacharacter.org/character-strengths/hope

If you are interested in exploring how the practice of Character Strengths might be of benefit to your business and culture, contact Peter Maguire on 0438 533 311 or at info@poswork.com.au.

Acknowledgement: the primary reference for this post is “The Power of Character Strengths: Appreciate And Ignite Your Positive Personality” by Ryan M. Niemiec & Robert E. McGrath (An Official Guide From The VIA Institute on Character)

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