Hope is defined as an optimistic state of mind that is based on an expectation of positive outcomes concerning events and circumstances in one’s life or the world at large. As a verb, its definitions include: “expectation with confidence” and “to cherish a desire with anticipation”. (Wikipedia)
Question is, what is the tangible value of hope if it offers any value at all?
Hope helps in achieving goals. According to studies (Charles Snyder), the more hopeful you are the more likely you are to achieve your goals. Hope Theory (Lopez, et al 2004) also proves that hope is crucial in goal setting and goal achievement.
Reduction in Stress – Hope is what is defined in Psychology as a ‘protective factor”. Protective factors help individuals deal with stressful situations. Hopeful people will generally view difficult times as a challenge rather than a threat. This means that when hopeful people are faced with stressful situations they are inclined to apply themselves more or work harder to overcome difficult situations.
Hope is linked to superior athletic and academic performance. According to another study titled Hope and Academic success in college (C.R Snyder et al.., 2002). Students with higher hope quotients had higher GPA’s and were more likely to graduate. Similar studies were done with athletes with the same outcome. Success was not only dependent on IQ and talent, but hope played a big part in the probability of success.
Hope is positively correlated with life satisfaction. According to another study (Snyder et al…1997), children with higher levels of hope are more creative, have better academic results, better social skills, higher self-esteem, self-realization, better perceptions of being able to solve problems and face obstacles, all these are factors that lead to a general level of higher satisfaction with
Hopeful people have better interpersonal relationships. Hope leads to patterns of secure attachment (Snyder et al., 2003), which result in better interpersonal relationships. Hopeful people are generally positive and have a positive outlook which helps tremendously in improving the quality of their relationships.
Clearly, according to the detailed studies by Snyder, hope is invaluable in our lives. It is not some obscure wishy-washy idea but real, necessary and valuable in increasing the quality of life.
As Martin Luther said, “Everything that is done in this world is done by hope”.