Hope is the deep-seated belief that circumstances will improve. Hope is more than a wish, which is just a desire. Hope is so powerful it feels like unconscious knowledge that the circumstances you desire will occur.

Lack of hope is as devastating as hope is uplifting. Having no hope leads to stress, anxiety, and despair. We all crave having something positive to look forward to. A constant pessimistic outlook squelches hope. Hopelessness can be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Getting caught in a negative spiral of hopelessness is devastating. You lose sight of the options to improve your situation. However, when a negative person is shown there is reason for hope, they can turn their life around by taking a more positive course.

People with hope are survivors. They are proactive, optimistic, and look to a brighter future. They take responsibility for their destiny, asking, “How can I help myself and what can I do to help improve my situation?” These people are willing to put in the effort required to make things better.

Hopeless people view themselves as victims, blaming other people or circumstances for their predicament. These people are passive. They wait for things to improve, or expect others to help them. They won’t take responsibility for their predicament. Hopeless people don’t realize the impact their own actions can have on their lives.

Changing or improving your current situation starts with hope. This is your firm belief that you can and will be able to get to a better place. Hope is more than an idle wish or daydream. Hope is a constant mindset that nothing is impossible. Hope cannot be extinguished by any external forces. It persists regardless of attacks by others, and endures through any adverse circumstances.

Hope is your foundation through challenging times. It calms your thoughts and emotions. It gives you stability by preventing pessimism from setting in. Being hopeful enables you to find the solutions which exist for each problem. Hope is the fuel which keeps you going regardless of the challenges encountered.

Shifting to a mindset of hope occurs when concentrating on the aspects of any situation which are in your control. First and foremost, your have absolute control over your thoughts and attitude.

The next time you are faced with a problem, challenge, or obstacle, tell yourself you can and will prevail. Using “will” is essential. Don’t bother with, “I want to prevail,” “I’ll try to prevail,” or “I think I’ll prevail.” Using anything other than “will” is not effective.

Hope helps you overcome the odds by pushing you to keep going even though you might normally think about giving up. Encountering pitfalls, problems, and detours are a normal part of life.

Hope keeps you focused on your ultimate objective as you navigate your way through adversity. Hope makes overwhelming situations more manageable.

Hope improves performance and creativity because hopeful people direct their energy to action, instead of worry. Therefore, hopeful people are more successful at achieving their goals. Hope provides a significant extra boost to achievement. Hope can even supersede skills, knowledge, and abilities. Hopeful people find a way, no matter what obstacles lie in their path.

Hopeful people tend to have better overall health and stronger immune systems. They have more control over their emotions, along with reduced stress and anxiety. People with hope also have more self-esteem and a more positive self-image.

Always be hopeful regardless of what you are facing. Look forward to where you want to be. Remain focused on your objective. Being hopeful enhances every aspect of your life.

NOW AVAILABLE: “Dare to Live Without Limits,” the book. Visit www.BryanGolden.com or your bookstore. Bryan is a management consultant, motivational speaker, author, and adjunct professor. E-mail Bryan at bryan@columnist.com or write him c/o this paper.

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