Teaser Tuesdays: The Psychology of Hope

The Psychology of Hope: You Can Get There from Here, by C.R. Snyder

Reading back through some of the old posts on this blog, I see a man who saw wonderful possibilities for his future, and an undiminishable drive to pursue those possibilities; a man who saw the future as his salvation, not as his curse.

What happened to that man?

He’s still inside me, beat down by patterns I’ve allowed to set over the past 6 or 7 years. He may no longer be fighting, but he still longs to escape, to live free.

Enter the Used Book Superstore. Browsing there one day in the Psychology section, I of course noticed the wanna-be-psych-textbooks, the pop psychology, the psycho-mumbo-jumbo. And then a book jumped out at me—literally, almost jumped into my hands—a hardcover entitled The Psychology of Hope: You Can Get There from Here.

By this time, I realized that I had been wrestling with depressive patterns in my life, and I knew that hope is the antidote to depression. I also knew I enjoyed writing stories that inspire to overcome limiting emotional patterns, as we all face.

I flipped open to the inside flap: “Why do some people lead positive, hope-filled lives, while others wallow in pessimism?” And I was hooked.

Since then, I’ve been slowly working through this book, as I have time. His concepts and anecdotes are rich in meaning, and provide direction not only to my personal life, but to the lives of the fictional characters I write.

Here’s today’s snippet, starting at page 5 of the hardcover edition:

Hope is the sum of the mental willpower and waypower that you have for your goals. To understand this definition, I break it down into three basic mental components—goals, willpower, and waypower—and give details for each…

A goal is something we want to obtain (such as an object) or attain (like an accomplishment)…

Willpower, as I use this term, is a reservoir of determination and commitment that we can call on to help move us in the direction of the goal to which we are attending at any given moment…

Waypower is a mental capacity we can call on to find one or more effective ways to reach our goals…

Simply put, hope reflects a mental set in which we have the perceived willpower and the waypower to get to our destination.

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. I’m trying a variation on the mainstream “Teaser Tuesdays” concept. Instead of quoting two sentences from a random page in the book, I’m selecting a snippet that reflects qualities I want to communicate from the book.