A Dose of Hope - Blog Top Image

A Dose of Hope

And What to Do With It

As of today, Friday, December 11th, there are just a few working days left this year. Many schools let out on December 18th, and it’s fairly common for the last two weeks of the year to be lighter on meetings and deliverables at work. After an admittedly tough year, a dose of hope is fairly welcome, and I think it’s useful to note that just as we all communicate differently, we also experience hope a little differently.

Let me offer four ways you may experience hope this season, and what to do about it to help co-create a great community around you at work, at home, and at play.

 

Savor the hope of productivity. 

While some folks look forward to time off over the holidays, others look forward to the quiet productivity that can happen when lots of other folks are taking time off.

It’s easier to get through emails when for a couple of days you don’t feel like you have to play whack-a-mole, you can just work your way through them! It’s often easier to get through our own work when the folks who add tasks to our plates have stepped away from the office and momentarily suspended their boundless trove of new ideas and new work tasks.

What to do?

Look at your calendar for the rest of 2020. Do you have time between now and December 31st where you can carve off some time to get things done, finish up work that you’d started, clean out your inbox, tidy up your desk?

Piles of “to do’s” or “to deal-with’s” stacked up around you this past quarter? Use the time to close them out, clean them up, wrap them up, so you can start fresh next year.

 

Leverage the thrill of hope.

Maybe you’re one of those folks who looks forward to driving around looking at holiday lights; maybe you’re one of those folks who delights in watching someone you love open a gift you’ve selected just for them; maybe you get a thrill out of making or eating a special meal this time of year; maybe in the workplace, you love that thrill of turning off your machine for the last time this year, knowing that the next time you turn it on, it will be a new year. That thrill, that anticipation, that excitement can energize you to get things done and to share warm smiles.

What to do?

Figure out what gives you that thrill – the thrill that gets your blood pumping, your foot tapping, your heart racing, the corners of your face turning up in a smile – and then think about those things! Intentionally spend time thinking about the things that you love about this season. Enjoy the hope and anticipation of knowing they’re just around the corner. Let the thoughts of those things you’re looking forward to brighten your step and motivate you to get the less interesting stuff done.

If the holiday season is not one that brings you hope, then look to January or beyond to find those things that bring you the thrill, and give yourself a mental boost by looking forward to those.

 

Let your hope float. 

Perhaps you’re a consistently optimistic type. Perhaps positivity is hardwired into your very being (my Dad, for example, the most optimistic and genuinely positive person I’ve ever encountered, will point out that even his blood type points to his nature – B-positive!). If you’re blessed with this kind of joy, then you have a natural ability to see the bright side and the silver lining. Congratulations, and thank you! You’re one of those folks we need around right now.

If this is not natural to you, then spend some time with people who seem to be chipper effortlessly – it turns out, it may not be effortless for them, but they’ve learned it, and they practice it, and when you spend time with them, it will likely rub off on you too! 

The idea of this concept, though, is like marshmallows at the top of a fresh cup of hot cocoa. You can try to push them down, but they float right back up to the top. Their resilience, their cheery bounce as they break the surface again, that’s what we want to model.

What to do?

When you find a conversation spiraling down towards the negative, chime in with a positive thought or question or redirect the discussion to a brighter topic. When you enter a room or a conversation, be prepared to be the cheery one – listen first, to make sure you’re not being dismissive of someone else’s pain or their expression of genuine concern – and then keep an eye out for ways you can help hope float back to the top of everyone’s mind. Be prepared with silver linings, bright spots, or rays of sun you can share, and then share. Consider things that you’ve learned, unexpected benefits, and even the littlest joys (those marshmallows don’t have to be the giant ones – even the little ones make a positive difference).

 

Find the hope that comes with goal setting.

There’s something pretty spectacular about planning – making plans and setting goals are things we do in optimistic anticipation of achieving a future success. When we find ourselves setting goals for the future – especially those that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound, we have the future in mind. We are not caught in the discouragement of the present, rather we are looking with hope to the future. Have you ever found yourself looking forward to something? That forward-looking anticipation is hope. And when we plan, when we set goals for the future or create action plans to help achieve those goals, we’re putting hopeful optimism to good use.
 

What to do?

Think of something you want to do in 2021 – a project at work you’re looking forward to, a project you want to accomplish at home, something you’d like to accomplish for yourself or your community, and start putting a plan together. Begin working through the resources you’ll need, the people you’ll engage, the activities you’ll complete, and the communications you’ll deliver associated with this initiative.

As you focus on that future project, as you consider that future goal, as you picture it, shape it up in more detail, you’ll find yourself looking with hope to the future. If you engage someone else in your planning, you may be able to share that hope with them, too!

 

So how about you? How will you tap into hope this season?

 

Topics: General Business, Faith, Sinikka Waugh

Sinikka Waugh

About the Author

Sinikka Waugh

Sinikka Waugh is a recognized leader in understanding people and in adapting tools, techniques, and processes to meet the demands of the situation at hand. Since 2006, Sinikka has provided compassionate leadership in transformation initiatives. When she isn’t in front of a class, she enjoys putting her background in English and French Literature to work, by writing blogs about the subjects she teaches every day. Are you ready? If you are, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us! contactus@yourclearnextstep.com

  •  

Receive a weekly dose of inspiration in your inbox by signing up for our weekly newsletter