What gives me hope? Nothing. Because nothing outside of you can give you hope. Hope emerges from inside yourself. Since I always like to better understand what I am talking about, here are definitions of hope:

  • To cherish a desire with anticipation; to desire with expectation of obtainment; to expect with confidence.
  • Desire accompanied by expectation of or belief in fulfillment; expectation of fulfillment or success; someone or something on which hopes are centered; something hoped for.

Think about when you felt the most hopeful. Even looking at a newborn in your arms, this little ball of love. Nope, the baby did not give you hope. You reacted with your feelings, your emotions to this cute little thing and became joyful. It is interesting to notice in the definition of hope that “to hope”, as a verb, is something “you do”. Being hopeful, or “to cherish a desire with anticipation” are actions on which you have the control. Expecting “something” to come to you to prove that you are right to have hope means the same thing as relinquishing your own internal power.

Expecting the best to happen, or the fulfillment of a wish represents an important step in mastering one’s own emotional and mindful state.  This key skill is a pre-requisite to manifesting your deepest heart’s desires.

Hope is self-driven. Only you have the possibility of turning the switches to change you emotional and mental state, hence creating the internal emotional state that will enable you to be positive and call forth your own capacity to hope, without relying on magic thought or depending on what is happening outside yourself in your environment or in the world.

Getting a grip on our negative emotions is not always easy, as emotions are the mind’s way of informing us on our needs  and state of the moment. Emotions are information that we can decided to toss aside or use to better manage our internal state of well-being. Emotions come and go. This is where seizing life’s little gems and joys may help us in our efforts to “switch” our emotional state and mind perspective, from negative to positive, so we become available to call forward our own motivation and one of its best friend, our own and very personal hopeful state.

Hope does not come to meet you from the outside in, from a baby, a promotion, or an medical treatment. These important aspects of life have to happen anyway, to live a full life, with responsibility to ourselves and loved ones. What we usually call “the things that bring you hope”, you reap from your days and nights pearls of joy, which you process as desirable information from your daily life to trigger a positive relationship with your soul, yourself.  From this positive emotional state, you then decide to keep ignited your unique and very personal lamp of hope, directed by choice to the endeavours and affirmations of your dearest heart’s desires. This is a responsibility towards oneself. Hoping is a decision, like being happy is.

Let’s modify the question from “What gives hope” to “What do you find inspiring that contributes to switch your emotions from negative to positive?” or “What does help you sustain your efforts towards a positive and joyful outlook on life?”  These two questions are essential to move you in a space where you will be able to generate your own purpose to start affirming hope in the direction of your goals. You cannot depend on external circumstances and have blind faith, without having done the internal work (positive emotional state and affirmations), and the action-oriented work to start the journey sustained by the hope fuel. The rest, you do not control, hope depends on you, because you are prepared.

What follows is my own list of inspirational switches. If you ever feel despair (the opposite of hope), ask yourself what is it in your own emotional management repertoire, that you have not yet learned, or mastered. Fun switches are just a first step, they are not the hope itself, nor the solution to your desperation. My list of “switches” in no specific order:

  • Reading about spirituality, psychology, success, self-help, prosperity
  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Prayer and affirmations, mostly for loved ones, friends, and the world at large
  • Walking in urban areas and understanding what motivated human beings to build places and buildings the way they are, over time
  • Reading to understand evolution, like history, social sciences
  • Hiking in nature
  • Music, music, music, with ecletic tastes, whispering or shouting energy to my body-mind-spirit all at once
  • Asking myself what is the next small requires step I should be doing in the next two minutes to fill my purpose of the moment, move forward
  • Writing from the heart, mostly for loved ones and good friends
  • Looking at or thinking about a friend’s face

Hope exists in you, but nothing outside you can provide it. Only you can ignite it. Now you know my switches, from negative to positive, to create the current from which calling my hope, inviting it. What are yours?