If you want to improve your life—or even just reach a single goal—what tools do you need?
Common answers would likely include things like planning, skill, time, resilience, and endurance.
While those answers aren’t wrong, there’s one thing missing: something that is absolutely essential for anything you want to accomplish.
A critical foundation
Hope is a critical foundation for progress and growth. Why? Because in order to do something—anything—you first have to hope that that thing can actually be done.
Let’s say you want to grow a garden. It’s going to take a lot of work. You have to do research about your climate, soil, and sun exposure. You have to dig holes, plant seeds, pull weeds, and do any number of other things to protect and nourish your plants.
Now, would you go to all that trouble if you didn’t have hope that anything would even grow? Probably not.
Because if a better future isn’t even possible, why would you work so hard to create it?
The science of hope
The effects of hope have been scientifically studied in several different ways. This includes what is known as “hope theory.”
Essentially, this theory defines hope as recognizing both the agency and pathways available to you as you work towards a goal.
- Agency: The capability and responsibility you have to create change
- Pathways: The potential strategies you could use to get what you want
Recognizing these things creates the possibility for a better future.
Additionally, hope is scientifically linked to a “growth mindset.” People with a growth mindset tend to set challenging goals for themselves, and don’t allow setbacks to get in the way of achieving those goals. They recognize that where they are right now is just a starting point, and that there is potential within them to move forward from there.
Having a growth mindset (as opposed to a “fixed” one, which denies the possibility for real change) is related to long-term success and happiness.
The center of the Egg
This is why hope is at the center of our Egg framework. It’s the first stage, the one you have to work through before you can start designing your thoughts and your life.
We don’t see hope as a naive, head-in-the-clouds concept that ignores reality and simply dreams of a better future. Rather, we treat it as a powerful and practical first step—a skill that you can strengthen and fine-tune as you start to envision the life you want to have. Hope is your initial turn away from fear and doubt, pointing you onward and upward.
Only once you have hope for your future can you move on to developing belief, action, purpose, and meaning.
This strong foundation is part of what makes the Egg framework so effective.
How to develop hope
We believe that hope, like all aspects of happiness, has to come from within. That means that you can’t wait for a mysterious “something” to happen that will suddenly fill you with hope for the future.
It means you have to discover it for yourself.
Our Egg assessment will help you determine if hope is something you need to work on, and will get you started on your unique coaching program that can help you progress through each stage of happiness.
Additionally, positive affirmations are a great way to change your thoughts about hope, so that it can become a positive force in your life. Check out five of our favorite affirmations about hope, here.
Ultimately, hope can set you down the path you want to follow—a path that will lead you to more inner peace and lifelong happiness.
We know that life is hard sometimes. But if you can find the hope amidst the struggle, you’re well on your way to designing a life you love.
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