Hope: "There's Always a Way"

Overview - What Will You Get In This Post?

  • What is the science of hope

  • Why it matters.

  • How you can apply it to your life (with action steps).


What’s The Idea?

The last piece of mindset relates to the science of hope, based on the books Making Hope Happen and The Psychology of Hope.

In a nutshell, a hopeful mindset comes from knowing our future is going to be better than our present, and we have the power to make it that way.

This emerges from three things: goals, pathways and agency.

  • Goals = knowing our desired future.

  • Pathways = knowing there are multiple pathways to get there.

  • Agency = knowing we have what it takes to achieve it.


Transferred to our situation, that means knowing our study goals, knowing that there are multiple ways to learn it, and believing we have what it takes to learn it (remember grit and growth-mindset?).


Why Does It Matter?

Here are two nuggets from the books that connect to what we have learned so far.

In Making Hope Happen, Shane Lopez, PhD tell us: “In short, mindset influences every aspect of your life, from work to sports, from relationships to parenting. If you believe you can change and develop, you know you can move beyond your present limitations. This makes a growth mindset the natural companion of hope.”

And, in The Psychology of Hope, Charles Snyder tells us: “To turn a twist on an old saying, when the going gets tough, the hopeful keep going.”

So, know what you want, know that there are a lot of ways to get it, and know you have what it takes to do it. That’s the science of a hopeful mindset.


Action Step:

Now, to embrace a more hopeful mindset when doing something, all you have to do is:

  • Know your goal.

  • Know that there are multiple ways to achieve it.

  • Know that you’ve what it takes to achieve - review growth-mindset [link] and grit [link].


Again, mindsets a bit more abstract to apply, but what you might do when studying is:

  1. Write down your goal (i.e., learn so-and-so material).

  2. Remind yourself that there are many ways to learn it.

  3. Remind yourself that you have what it takes to learn it (“anything is learnable” a la growth-mindset and “you won’t give up until you achieve what’s important to you” a la grit.




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