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The Science of Hope

The Science of Hope

“Hope is the belief that the future will be better than the present, along with the belief that you have the power to make it so,”  – Dr. Shane Lopez

“Hope is the leading indicator of success in relationships, academics, career, and business—as well as of a healthier, happier life,” – Dr. Lopez

I love the topic of hope. Our ministry name, Igniting Hope, might give that away.

I read the following in Taking Charge of Your Health and Wellbeing website:

“If someone asked you to describe ‘hope,’ what words would come to mind? Optimism? Dreams? Plain old wishful thinking?

How about this: hope is ‘the belief that the future will be better than the present, along with the belief that you have the power to make it so.'”

That’s the definition used by Dr. Shane Lopez, senior scientist at Gallup, who also wants us to know how useful hope can be. “Hope is the leading indicator of success in relationships, academics, career, and business—as well as of a healthier, happier life,” he says.

Dr. Lopez is spearheading fascinating new research showing that not only is hope good for your wellbeing, but it’s a measurable quality that can be increased with practice.

His new book, Making Hope Happen, discusses the science behind hope and describes practical ways to improve your wellbeing by nurturing a positive, active approach to live. As I read through some other research, I found these powerful thoughts*:

Hope matters. Hope is a choice. Hope can be learned. Hope can be shared with others.

Highly hopeful people believe…

  • The future will be better than the present.
  • I have the power to make it so.
  • There are many paths to my goals.
  • None of them is free of obstacles.

Hope is a social gift, in that…

  • Highly hopeful people inspire hope in others.
  • Highly hopeful leaders engender hope in the organization.
  • Highly hopeful managers have higher performing work units, higher retention rates and more satisfied employees.

These are fascinating and inspiring truths. If you want to learn more about hope, listen to my podcast called “The Science of Hope” or read an article by Dr. Shane Lopez here.

* Making Hope Happen, Shane Lopez, Ph.D. • The Psychology of Hope, Snyder • Dr. Chan Hellman, University of Oklahoma (some slides) • Akshay Malik, International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications, Volume 3, Issue 10, October 2013 1 ISSN 22501-3153

For more on topics like this, listen to my podcast by clicking the link below.

ABOUT STEVE BACKLUND

Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.