You every think about the future? It what kinds of ways?
Let’s take a look at some different types of ‘future’ thinking researched by Lopez…
1. Fantasizing – thinking big thoughts which give a “quick high – sometimes followed by a bit of a low.”
2. Dwelling – “hyperfocused…future thoughts on the bad things that might happen”.
3. Hoping – balanced thoughts between fantasy and dwelling creating exciting + acknowledging the challenges ahead.
Its number 3, HOPING, that Lopez says we want to cultivate which will increase compelling feelings to act.
“In our minds, our beliefs firm up links between ourselves and the future, priming people for hope. People do this by setting high expectations about the future (somewhat tempered by reality) and then acting on them.” (Lopez)
Lopez says there are two key beliefs that peeps with high hope have and they are…
1. My future will be even better than now
2. I have the power and potential to make my future better.
“Futurecasting creates momentum, the energy of hope. This energy builds on the positive emotions around our goals, our sense of personal confidence (or agency), and our willpower, or ability to persevere.” (Lopez).
I’ve studied hope for more five + years now in higher education contexts. What I can tell you from that experience is that hope is not a straight line, or a once of goal setting exercise that once written takes care of itself.
Expect detours, setbacks and challenges yet don’t dwell on them. Take em on, fully with the flexibility to bend your goals n plans towards even bigger possibilities. Just because it does not pan out one way, does not mean you do not have access to a multitude of other alternatives and possibilities….cos guess what…you do.
The more avenues you create to get there when one door closes the better. The more meaning you bring to what you are seeking to develop in the present towards your future…you guessed it, the better.
Steady + stretch yourself, be flexible, take the shots, find the depth of meaning for you and learn from the feedback.