Week 3: Hope

What is Hope?

Core Essay on Hope

Hope is a powerful tool for the creation of Love. It is the final outwardly expressed emotion that we will be investigating in this challenge. Like Generosity and Compassion, Hope is created through positive action and can be spread to those around us. It is an outward expression of our emotion because it flows most powerfully when it is imparted to another. When we live in Hope we begin to see that every action we take moves us closer to our final goal. Provided we are able to listen to the lesson which accompanies every action. When we live in Hope, we see that even our failures bring us closer to our ultimate destination. Because our failures allow us to more keenly perfect our next positive action.

Hope comes from within, when we set concrete goals and move forward with positive action. But it is expressed most effectively when it is allowed to shine forth for all around to see. Hope is infectious and as we move closer to our goals, our overwhelming sense of gratitude helps fuel the fires of Love. As we share our Hope with those around us our own feelings of Hope will grow as well. So long as we are always moving forwards, we are always living with Hope.

This Weeks Challenge

The word “Hope” is characterized by Merriam-Webster as: “to cherish a desire with anticipation.” That definition could certainly use some expansion. Hope comes from setting concrete goals, taking positive action and sharing our gratitude to create hope in others.

Being Hopeful may seem difficult in this day and age, but it’s just a matter of making that conscious switch in your mind, until it becomes automatic. When fear stops you in your tracks take a deep breath and remember to have faith in yourself. Sometimes life will be difficult, it just will be. But that’s okay. Assuming we take our failures in stride and learn the lesson presented to us, we can keep a sense of hope. Even in failure, we can still move closer to our goal, if we are able to see the lesson in our failure, and adapt our next positive action accordingly.

The following examples are suggestions only. Feel free to incorporate as many of them into your daily life as you are able to, or create your own examples of Hope.

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The following challenge is split into three categories. Please complete each category and send an email with an essay describing how your week of Living in Hope has changed you. This essay can be anywhere from 500 to 1000 words and will become a post on this blog.

Concrete Goals

The first step to achieving Hope in our everyday lives is creating concrete goals. Without a set of goals, fostering a sense of hope is practically impossible. Hope arrives when we move towards our goals with Love in our heart. Take some time to write down several goals for your life in Love. Set an easily achievable goal for this week, but also write down a few long term goals that have been on your mind recently. Below are a few examples of easily achievable goals for this week.

• Choose a neglected area of the house and add a little Love. Watch how the newly improved space helps lift your spirits.
• Make a new friend by approaching a stranger. It’s tough to make new friends, but it is even tougher when we are afraid to talk to new people. You may not end up with a best friend, but you’ll both be richer for the conversation.
• Start Meditating, even for just a few minutes a day. Imagine all of the things you have to accomplish that day, and visualize yourself accomplishing them.
• Try to be patient. With yourself, with everyone else. Don’t give over to frustration, just let go and let everything work itself out.
• Do something that scares you. Face a fear. Probe a phobia. Nothing gives more hope than overcoming something you’ve always been afraid of.

Positive Action

This part of the challenge is where we begin to take the first step towards completing the items on our list of concrete goals. Hope is created through positive actions. It is reinforced when we move towards our goals. Take some time to really plan out how you will take your step towards your goal, with Love as your motivator. Then do it!

Infectious Hope

Infectious Hope is the act of spreading your Loving feelings to others. It comes from gratitude and arrives when we take a step closer to our goals and then include those around us in our success. If anyone has helped us to reach our goals we will surely be thankful for their involvement. Even those who did not help us will be able to see our overwhelming sense of Hope. By using positive encouragement, we can pass our Hope on to anyone.

• Be positive. Curtail pessimism and remember that there is always Hope.
• Curtail the pessimism of others. Point out silver linings whenever you can.
• Give someone else some Hope. If you know someone who has been struggling with a project for a while, help them complete it.
• Listen for opportunities to include people in your goals. We soon see that any job becomes easier with the help of others.
• Don’t rain on parades. It’s so easy to fall back into cynical habits and squash the ideas of others. Instead, congratulate them on their creativity and help them succeed.

Send Entries to awards@alternate-economy.com