Do You Have Hope?

175x225_WolleHeadshotAuthor: Dr. Rhoda Wolle
Company: Wisconsin Lutheran College
Title: Dean of Student Success

Have you ever found yourself hoping for something?

“I hope I get the internship.”
“I hope I get an A on the test.”

According to Shane J. Lopez, Ph. D. a leading researcher in the field of positive psychology, hope is more than wishful thinking, and being hopeful has an immense impact on our well-being and success.

Being hopeful is not the same as wishing or dreaming of success.  According to Lopez’s research, those who are hopeful:

  1. Set a goal
  2. Have a plan for how they will attain their goal
  3. Understand that potential obstacles to their goal may surface
  4. Find ways to get around the obstacle and persist on the path to the goal


Furthermore, Lopez’s research suggests that hope leads to:

  1. Increased engagement (showing up)
  2. Increased productivity
  3. Well-being
  4. Improved health

In other words, those who set goals and stay their course despite obstacles are happier, healthier, and more successful.  In fact, his research suggests that students who are hopeful have a 12% gain in academic performance and a 10% increase in happiness over their peers who are not hopeful.  What does this mean for you?  How can you increase your hope?  Lopez contends that hope is contagious.  Spend time with hopeful people, set goals, and find ways to overcome obstacles.  Finally, when you want something, set a course for how to get there and take action.  Know that challenges will come up and throw you off course, then figure out how to get back on course.

Your professors and the Career Development-Internship team are here to help you with setting goals and taking action.  To delve deeper into a study of hope, read Shane Lopez’s book, Making Hope Happen.


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