The Importance of Hope: Personally and Professionally
Easter has always been a time of joy and celebration in my house. We run around finding (or hiding!) Easter eggs. We have family and friends over to cook and eat together. Easter concludes the season of Lent, which is a time of preparation ending in hope that there is goodness to come--in our faith and in our lives. Reflecting back to Easter of 2020, it might not have always been easy to be hopeful in the midst of the lockdown. But it was in that time that hope was needed most! Through the journey of this past year, and with the celebration of Easter 2021 last Sunday, I have come to realize just how impactful it is to always look for the good now and in what may come.
Recently in one of my classes, I was reminded of a book written by Viktor Frankl “Man’s Search for Meaning,” and I was struck by its application to this idea of hope. Frankl says, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms- to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” The attitude of hope is one we must choose to have. We have the ability, the freedom to have hope, to find meaning, to move forward.
Hope is such a necessary thing, not only in our spiritual lives, but in our professional lives as well. It keeps us going each day!
So, what are some practical ways to live and have hope in our personal and professional lives?
Look to the future, not the past
Consider what it is you want to accomplish today, tomorrow, in a year… These can be personal goals such as reading a book, or professional goals such as having an internship. Maybe consider creating a goal setting sheet or talking with the Career Development Center about what you want to do. When you look to the future, hope starts to blossom as you see the potential of what you can accomplish!
Acknowledge the present
Living in the present gives us the ability to experience what it is we are going through and to learn from it. When we aren’t trying to rush past our current situation, we can look and examine what it means. Acknowledging the present helps us to be at peace and maintain hope in our current situation, thus putting us in the proper mindset to grow personally and professionally.
Learn something new
Confidence! Success! These feelings come from learning something new with a sense of accomplishment. Start by making a list of what intrigues you. Maybe it relates to your future goals, or maybe it's just fun… like juggling! A fun new skill can be found with just a quick YouTube search. Engage your mind and learn something new! This growth opportunity will allow you to remain hopeful that there is something to look forward to in your future.
Appreciate the little things
We can get so caught up in the big events of life that we can forget all that happens in passing… the smile a stranger gave you, the extra time on an assignment, or a text from your family. When we pause to take note of the little things, we realize how much goodness there is in the now.
Take time to ponder what hope means to you and consider how it impacts your life. Hopefully (no pun intended) it will do wonders to bolster your personal and professional growth!