Each January I have the privilege to attend industry CEO conference in a warm, tropical place. This year it was held virtually, and admittedly I missed the in-person event. Last year’s conference was in Aruba, a fabulous weather reprieve from the frigid 20-degree temperatures we left at home.

One morning I opened up the curtains to the beautiful scene of a double rainbow. A brief shower had passed through and as the sun peaked out behind the clouds, the rainbow showed a mesmerizing display of colors that became more and more brilliant until finally fading away into the blue sky. Alone in my room it seemed like the experience happened just for me providing a beautiful symbol of peace and serenity. But even more so, the rainbow made me think of hope.

Hope is everything. Hope is not just an emotion but essential to our life. We started hoping from the time we were small, and it continues on:

  • We hope the friend we like will invite us to their birthday party
  • We hope that boy will ask us out
  • We hope for the acceptance letter to that university
  • We hope to get that job
  • We hope she will say “yes”

Without hope we are “hopeless”, and life seems futile or pointless. Too many people today are without hope and going through their days discouraged. Personally, my faith lifts me up when I feel discouraged. There will be times that you find yourself in a valley of a challenging event or an ongoing issue that leave you discouraged and even to a point of despair. Times of hopelessness are not unusual and happen to the best of us but you can work through it.

You can choose hope. What does this mean? That you believe that your future will be better than your past, and you have the ability to take your life in a positive direction.

Here are three ways to be more hopeful this year:

  1. Identify where feelings of discouragement and hopelessness exist. This may be something recent or a deep-seated issue. How long have you been stuck on this page? Becoming aware of where the hopeless mindset is coming from is the first step to change.
  2. Make the choice to have a mindset of hope. When you have hope you believe everything will turn out ok. You can purposefully change your mindset from a negative to positive one by changing the thoughts and words about the situation. Tell yourself that you are going to move forward. Last year was a different page. This year will be different.
  3. Take action. Define what tangible steps you will take to move you forward. Hope gives you perseverance to try one more time, to not give up. Napoleon Hill says it this way, “Whatever your mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”

What do you hope for this year? Believe in your ability to make that happen. Then take action to make this next year your best year.