The Character Strength of Hope relates to optimism, future-mindedness, and future orientation. It is the expectation that good things can and will happen. People with this character strength are confident that their efforts toward future goals will lead to their fruition. This strength leads people to expect the best from themselves and others.
How to demonstrate this Character Strength:
Movies: Gone with the Wind (1939), Life is Beautiful (1998-Italian), Good Will Hunting (1997)
Songs: Strength, Courage, Wisdom, The Rose (Bette Midler), Somewhere Over the Rainbow / What a Wonderful World (Israel Kamakawiwo’ole)
Suggested strategies that correlate with this strength:
- Recall a situation when you or someone close to you overcame a difficult obstacle and succeeded.
- List all the bad things that happened to you, then find at least two positives for each.
- Visualise where and what you want to be after one, five and ten years. Sketch a pathway that you can follow to get there.
- Record your negative and positive thoughts and notice how they affect your future performance.
- Read about someone who succeeded despite difficulties and setbacks.
- Recall the bad decisions you made, forgive yourself, and see how you can make better decisions in the future.
- When facing adversity, focus on how you overcame similar adversity in the past.
- Mentally rehearse your next anticipated challenge. Build perspective by managing obstacles rather than trying to eliminate all of them.
- For the next three challenging tasks, identify what would work best for you, thinking of the way into the right action or acting your way into the right thinking.
- Document past three accomplishments in detail and let them inspire your future.
- Surround yourself with optimistic and future-minded people, particularly when facing setbacks.
- Schedule at least 15 minutes twice a week to spend generating optimistic ideas. Write them down and list actions you can take to realise your ideas. Discuss your ideas with your friends and make them partners in your endeavours.
Remember, when you are doing something in life that uses your strengths, it will strengthen you. When you are doing something in life that requires you to use your lower strengths or weaknesses, it will weaken you. You can use your strengths to accommodate your weaknesses.
By monitoring the above, you can catch when there is an incongruence in this personal strength. An incongruence will compromise you and cause inner conflict, so the above will help you keep on the right track.
Niemiec, R. M, 2017, Character Strengths Interventions, Hogrefe, Boston
Tayyab, R., Anjum, A., 2005, 340 Ways to Use VIA Character Strengths, University of Pennsylvania