“Used to refer to someone who cherishes a trustful hope, trustful, optimist”
It refers to the feeling or tendency to hope that, among the things that will happen in the future − most of which are unpredictable and out of one’s control − there might be some positive events. The feeling or belief that our wishes may come true or that, in spite of the difficulties, things may turn out for the best.

The concept of hopefulness is often considered together with its opposite, fear. Faced with the events of life, we find ourselves in between the positive energy given by the thought that our wishes may actually come true and the fear such hope will be disappointed. The fear that our hopes will appear to be short-lived determines a “compression” effect on both our thoughts and actions.

Despite being aware of the positive role fears or worries may play in determining how we face difficult situations or change (we are more capable of critical thinking, we are more aware of our doubts, and we do not thoughtlessly rush into new experiences), we reckon it important to highlight that a more hopeful approach may bring along several advantages in terms of personal and professional development:

  • it enables us to become aware of the inputs coming from our context while promoting openness and, most of all, it fosters awareness of positive events so that we can ride and take advantage of them
  • it increases our energy and positivity level and therefore it facilitates the achievement of our goals and wishes: we all know that prophecies are self-fulfilling in that we unconsciously tend to cause our predictions or expectations to become true. Far much better making positive prophecies then!
  • it empowers our leadership and capability of inspiring others into such attitude, for example when working together on a project.

We are well aware that being hopeful or fearful largely depends on our personality traits. However, we are not interested in categorizing people, we rather like to think in terms of skills we own or need to develop. In this perspective, being able to image positive scenarios is a skill that can be trained. It’s a matter of learning to create such positive scenarios, of being able to answer a very simple and yet extremely difficult question: “In order to be able to say that everything worked out for the best, what should have happened exactly?”. Learning to develop such an hopeful image, despite perhaps being fearful by character and in spite of the risk of being called “naïve” or “simple-minded”, opens up a different, more vital and empowering, scenario.

Try to think of a future difficult task you are worried about and write a one-page text imagining everything will turn out for the best. What happens in your story? How did you behave? What did you do? What made a difference? What were the outcomes? How did others react?

When the deadline for your task gets closer, read your text again and use it to become aware, along with the potential risks to be worried about, of the positive signals or fortuitous happenings that may help you.

“Fortune favors the brave”, wrote Virgil, we may attempt a paraphrase and say that “fortune favors the hopeful”.

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