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Hope Throughout Your Studies And How It Can Help You

Hope Throughout Your Studies And How It Can Help You

By Antonietta Marinelli | December 03, 2021

This month at Mentor Education, we’re focusing on hope as we take part, for the third year running in the Hope Barometer International Research Project. This project involves over sixteen countries worldwide and seeks to deliver a broad-based study of the hopes, desires, and future expectations on our population.

In 1991, positive psychologist Charles Snyder and colleagues came up with “hope theory.” According to the theory hope is made up of agency and pathways. The person who has hope has the will and determination to achieve goals and ability to envisage a set of strategies to reach their goals. Put simply: Hope accounts for not just for will, but the belief and conviction attached to reaching a goal.

In a learning environment hope plays a role in academic achievement – and it is a skill in which students can develop over time. Researchers have found that students who hold high hope have great academic success, stronger friendships and display more creative and problem-solving strategies towards things (Zakrzewski, 2021).

In recognising the role and potential benefits that maintaining a degree of hope can have when it comes to learning, here are three ways to incorporate hope into your studies:

Celebrate past wins

A study published in The Journal of Positive Psychology; participants were asked to write about their past experiences in which where they succeeded in something they put hope into. Founder of, executive-company Strategic Coach, Dan Sullivan, recommends a routine called “the gap and the gain”. It tells that at the end of every week, month, and decade, look back at your “gains”. This encourages the emotion of highlighting your goals, and those goals are achievable with continuous progress (Hardy, 2020).

Identify and prioritize your top goals

In order to succeed throughout your studies, you must set a clear goal and vision on what your goals are. Create a “big picture” list of what’s important to you. This can be your academic achievements, friends, family, or career and then reflect on which areas are most important, and how satisfied you are with each. Remember, goals are what you want. Studies suggest if you do not hold a high interest or motivation towards a particular goal, you will not stick to it. The goal is to focus on accomplishing on something in the future, rather than avoiding something. Researchers have found that this is particularly vital for students with little hope, as they often attempt any goal that comes to mind, which distracts their focus and energy from the goals that can have the greatest impact on their overall well-being (Zakrzewski, 2012).

Frame failure as feedback

When we lose hope in the future, we become fixated on negativity. To have growth with a hopeful mindset, we must obtain the thought process that our failures lead us to a better path. When you have hope, your experience setbacks differently. You learn from them so you can do better in your future. When we experience failure, we must note the actions in which we took to receive that outcome, and give ourselves space to recover, and look at ways we can improve.

Educators helping their students cultivating hope may be one of the most important things to do for them. Not only to help them achieve higher grades in the short run, but to give them the motivation and confidence to reach long-term goals both throughout their educational journey and life. (Zakrzewski, 2012). If we have motivating educators, we are likely to fall into the positive mindset of hopefulness and drive. Hope doesn’t mean wishful thinking—as in “I hope I win the lottery.” Instead, a person who is high in hope knows how to do the following things.

To be part of this year’s 2021 Hope Barometer study please complete the short (5-10 minute) anonymous survey via the link below and where possible share it with friends, family, and work colleagues.

Complete the survey here: EFS Survey

References:

● Hardy, B. 2020. 8 Science-Backed Ways to Increase Your Hope. Forge. [Accessed 2 December 2021].
8 Science-Backed Ways to Increase Your Hope

● Zajrzewski, V. 2012. How to Help Students Develop Hope. Greater Good Magazine. [Accessed 1 December 2021.
How to Help Students Develop Hope

● Seligman, M. E., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2000). Positive psychology: An introduction. American Psychologist. 55 (1), 5-14. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.55.1.5

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