April 27, 2022

Do you hope?

One of the common denominators for fostering change, growth, and our most meaningful experiences is hope, a belief that things can be better.

But what goes into hope? Here’s an acronym we’ve been exploring at Ei:

Human Challenge

First, a challenge must exist. But not just any challenge, a human challenge — something that is shared by a group and meets a deep, felt need. Human needs might revolve around issues like belonging (love & community), security (safety and care), or approval (career and personal growth).

Opportunity

Second, we must believe there is a real opportunity to make it better. We feel we have (or can find) the resources and abilities that give us a fighting chance to actually address the challenge.This will come with a clear vision, an understanding of the field and surrounding forces, and tangible ideas for what it will take to bring this hope to fruition.

Personal Care

Third, there needs to be a feeling of personal care. Our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual states must be tended to, or else, hope will dwindle. It’s hard to have hope if you can’t stay awake or think straight day-after-day.

Engagement

Lastly, there needs to be engagement with others — a sense that you’re not alone in this effort. Even if no one else has this hope, being able to share it and be accepted for having it will fuel your hope. Engagement can come from friends, loved ones, colleagues, or even external inspirations. We have to feel some sense of community. Each person can find and define that in their own way. Without it, hope will be under threat of shifting to loneliness and discouragement.

What do you hope for?

Hope impacts every interaction and action. With it, we pursue experiences that are generative and filling — leading to better lives, relationships, and better work.

Where do you have hope today? And where do you need to infuse one of these elements into the work you’re doing today?

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