Hope influences your emotions, thoughts and actions. When you're hopeful, you feel more capable of reaching goals, and this in turn translates into confidence and action.
Some great leaders have focused on instilling hope in others. For example, Nelson Mandela fought for human rights improvements primarily by raising hopes for a better future in others, even though he himself had to suffer for it.
There are many ways to cultivate hope.
One effective method is to act as if your desired goals were feasible, no matter how unrealistic they seem. Taking that first step is crucial – if you never try, you'll certainly never succeed.
Consider Ray Anderson, founder of Interface Inc., a carpet company worth $1.1 billion. In 1994, he declared he would totally eliminate any negative impact his company had on the environment. This seemed ludicrously naive at the time, but nevertheless he took action as if the goal was totally achievable. The result? By 2009, he was already halfway there.
Hope is especially important when times are bad, so it must be fostered and cultivated.
Amid the gloom of post-genocide Rwanda in 2005, one local called Odile Katese decided that life should not just be about struggling. She wanted to redirect people's attention into something that would bond them together and bring hope and joy to others. So she founded a women's drum group, which became so successful that it rapidly achieved world-wide fame. Clearly, people had been craving hope.