The Weekend Leader - A friend forever

It perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops

Revathi Turaga


Vol 2 | Issue 36

Hope! A word which means so much for so many…

In times of difficulties it is wise to recollect the words of Marian Zimmer Bradley: “The road that is built in hope is more pleasant to the traveler than the road built in despair, even though they both lead to the same destination.”

Over time, we have defined hope in many ways. Keeping the religious faith aspect aside, we still view hope as the silver lining around every cloud, the wish that things will get better, the chance of betterment, a positive optimistic outlook to the future, even as the tiny possibility that all will turn out well!

Hope can be a powerful asset to one in one’s journey of life. Given below are a few scientifically and psychologically researched practical benefits of being hopeful:

1. Better stress management: Research shows that there is a strong correlation between hopeful thinking and stress management. It has been found that people who are hopeful thinkers cope better with stressful situations, thereby reducing the harmful effects of stress on their body.

   2. Better crisis management: Crisis can be just one situation that needs immediate and serious attention, or crisis can be like a perfect storm with the financial, economic, and strategic aspects closing in all at one time. In both the above scenarios, one will need a great deal of hope to pull oneself through the situation successfully.

Felix Cuesta, a management professor and author of ‘The Hopefulness Generator’, says that “In the situations of any crisis no matter what, opportunities of success shall surely appear, but only those people who are hopeful can see them and capture them.”

   3. Better health: Shakespeare once suggested, "There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so." Obstacles are part of life’s inevitable events. How one interprets or perceives these events can impact a person’s health much more than the event itself. It is better to face life with hope rather than with fear or worry.

   4. Better tomorrow: Being hopeful today helps one to live on for a happier tomorrow! Viktor Frankl, an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist, was also a Holocaust survivor. In his inspiring book “Man’s Search for Meaning” he writes about the horrors faced by those in the concentration camps and how they survived the same.

He writes that those who survived were able to do so not because they had a better life, but because they had the hope for a better, happy, and successful life ‘tomorrow’.

   5. Better comeback: There are people who rise back quickly from depression and sadness to plunge forward in life. Then again, there are people who live their entire life in depression in spite of all the help and treatment they get.

Some get cured and others remain depressed. Research shows that having hope brings immense power, motivation, confidence, and determination in combating any illness including depression, and individuals who are hopeful and optimistic about their recovery fair far better than those who lack hope.

   6. Better leadership: Hope, in an organizational scenario, is often regarded as having a positive attitude. This optimism is an emotional competence that can help boost productivity, enhance employee morale, overcome conflicts, bond teams together, and have a positive impact on the productivity and profitability of the organization.

The ability to paint a hopeful, optimistic picture of where the organization is heading helps employees to constantly check on how something can be done better. Warren Bennis, author and a pioneer of the contemporary field of Leadership, tells us that optimism is one of the key things people need from their leaders in order to achieve positive results.

   7. Better life: Research once again shows us that optimism and hope are two very similar concepts which work together to create an attitude of cherishing the present and living in the now!

Prof Rick Snyder, who focused years of research on the ideas of hope and forgiveness emphasized that hopeful people maintain their goals, even when they experience setbacks or difficult circumstances. Thus they constantly live a holistic and peaceful life every moment.

Emily Dickinson once said, “Hope is that thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops… at all!”

Let us resolve today to make hope a friend forever in our journey of life!

Revathi Turaga is an international trainer and an inspirational speaker. She can be reached at [email protected]

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