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Leaving a light on for you at the World Hopecast
In this special edition of LIFEadvice, Coach Kim shares tips and tricks for creating more hope in your life and information about the World Hopecast March 17-19. - photo by Kim Giles
Tom Bodett, author and the radio host famous for his Motel 6 commercials, said, A person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world: someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for.

But for many these days, hope is hard to come by.

According to the World Health Organization, suicide is now the third highest cause of death globally. Suicide rates have risen over 60 percent in the last 45 years and WHO estimates that by 2020, someone will die by suicide every 20 seconds on this planet.

Right now in the U.S, there is one death by suicide every 12.3 minutes, and there are 25 attempts for every death. We also lose 22 veterans a day to suicide, and it is the second leading cause of death for young people 15-24.

The bottom line is a lot of people are losing hope.

Hope is a belief that something better is possible, that your life can and will improve. But some scientists say hope is more than just an emotion. Its a state that one can choose, achieve or make happen if one knows how.

In 1991, a positive psychologist named Charles Snyder and his colleagues came up with a hope theory that says hope consists of two components: agency and pathways. What they meant was, to create hope you must have some will, determination and belief that things can get better, and you must be able to see a path or vehicle to get you there. If you have both of these, you will have motivation driving hope.

(Snyder and his colleagues also invented a worksheet to measure the amount of hope you have. Its called the Trait Hope Scale and you can access it here if youd like to try it.)

Because of Snyders research, we know you can create more hope in your life if you work on these two things:

1 Choosing a different (more positive) perspective or mindset.

2 Developing strategies and a plan to actually improve your life.

Here are some suggestions to help you change your mindset:

  1. Look for other perspective options. Everything you feel and experience is filtered through your subconscious perspective. This means the way you feel could easily change, if you changed your perspective or the way you are looking at the situation. What are some other options? Start brainstorming and see if you can come up with some other (more positive) perspectives. Write down all the options you can think of. The following steps may help you come up with some.

  2. Choose to see life as a classroom. Snyder and his colleagues found that people who had hope usually saw life in a learning mode, which means they saw life as a classroom where mistakes arent permanent and don't affect your value. This attitude encouraged people to keep trying and not give up. People without hope tended to see life as a test and believed any mistake was permanent and meant they werent good enough. This attitude caused more people to give up. People who saw life as a test also felt like a helpless victim of circumstance, while those who saw life as a classroom felt they had control and could change their situations. If you choose to see life as a classroom (where you cannot fail because there is no test) you will also see negative situations, challenges and trials as opportunities to grow, learn and become better. This means you will see purpose and meaning in every experience and believe these experiences are here to educate and serve you, which will change how you feel about them.

  3. Understand everything changes. The nature of life is that nothing is permanent. All situations shift, change and evolve. When you experience great suffering it is easy to give up hope, but remember nothing stays the same forever. If you hang on through this rough patch, its highly likely better days will come.

  4. Make note of and celebrate small wins and blessings. Make sure you take stock daily of everything you have to be grateful for. In the midst of every heartache there are always tender mercies. Choose to focus on those. Much of your attitude comes from your focus. Choose to focus on the wins and blessings.

  5. Think about the ways things could be worse. Even find people whose situations are worse than yours or who are suffering in different ways and look for opportunities to serve them. Lose yourself service and your perspective will be more positive.

  6. Surround yourself with positive, determined, optimistic people. Rub shoulders with these people daily and let them share their perspectives on life with you. Ask them how they get through the hard parts and follow their lead.

  7. Spend more time outdoors. Nature has a magical way of lifting our spirits and reminding us there is beauty in the world.

Here are some suggestions for creating a plan to improve your situation:

  1. Find other people who have survived your situation and interview them. Ask what they did and how they made it through. Start a list of everything they suggest.

  2. Allow inspiration in and embrace spirituality in whatever form comforts you. Read inspiring books, watch inspirational movies and listen to great music. Soak up stories of survival and courage.

  3. Make a plan to improve your situation. Figure out what the next step looks like and start down that path. Every week re-evaluate and assess how its going and if any changes are necessary. Stay committed and determined to keep going.

  4. Celebrate every small win. Make sure you revel in every good thing or bit of progress. We tend to have a negativity bias, which means we focus more on whats wrong than on whats right. Change that. Focus on the good things and mark progress, not perfection.

The American author Barbara Kingsolver said, The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof.

I also recommend you join us online (wherever you are) for the World Hopecast, taking place this week (March 17-19).

We are bringing together a group of local speakers, celebrities and psychologists for a live stream audio broadcast (all about hope and inspiration) for 60 hours straight with guest authors, activists, experts and thought leaders from around the world sharing messages of hope and positivity.

We have guests lined up who will teach you exactly how to shift your mindset, inspire you with their stories of survival and motivate you to make a bigger difference in the world.

We will be talking about suicide prevention, forgiveness, philanthropy, overcoming depression or illness, positivity and courage and we are also going to break a Guinness World Record in the process.

If you feel beaten up, burned out or overburdened please listen to the Hopecast live at
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