Hope is a Plan!

Conventional wisdom says that hope is not a plan. I disagree. Hope is most definitely a plan. Cultivating hope is a skill that we need to practice and develop, and hope is especially needed when facing hardship. This is a time globally, locally, and in our workplaces of crisis. Hope has agency and purpose. It encourages a perspective that can help us see possibilities and choices. Hope, as a skill modeled by leadership, can lead to increased engagement and better health.

Look at the data and imagine an outcome. The data holds us in realism and the imagining helps us think broadly and deeply about ‘what if’. You have to see some evidence in your world to imagine the possibility. Dr. Jacqueline Mattis, a clinical psychologist from Rutgers University, encourages us to ‘read the room’ and read the past, putting the pieces together to make reasonable expectations in her conversation with Dan Harris on Ten Percent Happier. That’s why hope is rooted in data. It’s not just fantasy.

Infuse not just optimism but also hope into your plans. According to Dr, Mattis, optimism, and hope are related but are not the same. Optimism is an orientation towards the future where you think things will work out. Hope has the same sense of expectation but there is an agency mindset, a plan that will get you there. Leaders, when you are making decisions, creating plans, forming goals make sure you have infused a healthy dose of hope. Do your research, gather your data, read the room and then imagine the possibilities, have dreams, think big, and HOPE big! It is not only beneficial for your team but also a necessity for making effective, powerful, and positive changes.