Having Enough Hope in Motion for Success
Bill Cottringer

“You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world's problems at once but don't ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.” ~Michelle Obama.

Having hope is a good thing to have on your bookshelf. But, hope is too useful and valuable in driving success, to leave it there and not put in motion to work its magic. How do you do this? Here are four useful tips:

1. Practice Mindfulness.

A common thinking habit is to spend too much time now, remembering things that happened in the past or worrying about what won’t ever likely happen in the future. That is a time thief that is stealing too much of this valuable resource right now you could b e better using to put your hope in motion. This takes the effort to train your brain to focus on and become more aware of what is actually going on at the present moment. Mindfulness gets your thinking energy closer to real time where it can do the most good.

Mindfulness helps you become more sensitive to a very crucial point of no return—at the crossroads between opportunity and danger, or the intersection where your free will meets your destiny. By becoming more mindful, you are increasing what little but important influence you actually have, apart from a world full of social over-conditioning, in allowing your expectations and thinking affect reality before you.

2. Consider Realistic Optimism.

There is plenty of sound research that correlates optimism with mental and physical well- being—being happier, making more money, living longer, having few physical symptoms and having more enjoyable, lasting relationships. Optimistic thinking is a driver of authentic happiness and success. This type of thinking allows you to accept victories personally and have them continue, while accepting failures impersonally and without the worry they will continue.

However, too much of something, even a good something, can have a cost. The cost of having too much optimism is disappointment when the outcomes are not what you expect, which will inevitably happen. Then you are often not left with a back-up recovery plan. A more sensible, balanced approach might be “realistic optimism, allowing you to hope you will win, but with a little protective consideration that Murphy’s Law may turn out more true than not. Then you will mindfully have a Plan B in your back pocket.

3. Study Failure Closer.

Sigmund Freud probably focused on pathology and human failures a little too much, but then the positive psychology movement likely responded in the extreme by shifting focus from pathology and failure to health and success. Maybe the truth is somewhere in between. Afterall a balanced perspective is usually where the truth hides as obvious but obscure.

When you stop trying to avoid failure and start looking at it a little closer, you often find very useful clues on how to turn that failure into a success. Now I am not saying go out and look for failure so you can embrace it, but rather stop running from it or denying it when it happens. Own it and study it for what it has to offer.

4. Avoid Resting Too Long.

There comes a point in most people’s lives where they start believing they have learned all the most important things they need to know to be successful. The trouble is, most of this is thinking with very little practical application, where the proof is in the pudding. This plateau will keep you from learning what you need to know to be more successful than you are.

The point where you realize that all you know may not necessarily be so, is one of those opportunity crossroads. This self-acknowledgment sets up a mind-purging that can be replaced by much more accurate and useful knowledge—especially how to learn what you really need to know right here and now, like these three other tips.

Fortunately, these four tips are interactive and so all you may need to do to raise your success level is to try out one!

“Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul - and sings the tunes without the words - and never stops at all.” ~Emily Dickinson.

Author's Bio: 

William Cottringer, Ph.D. is Executive Vice President of Puget Sound Security in Bellevue, WA, along with being a Sport Psychologist, Business Success Coach, Photographer and Writer living on the scenic Snoqualmie River and mountains of North Bend. He is author of several business and self-development books, including, Re-Braining for 2000 (MJR Publishing); The Prosperity Zone (Authorlink Press); You Can Have Your Cheese & Eat It Too (Executive Excellence); The Bow-Wow Secrets (Wisdom Tree); Do What Matters Most and “P” Point Management (Atlantic Book Publishers); Reality Repair, (Global Vision Press), Reality Repair Rx (Publish America); Thoughts on Happiness; Pearls of Wisdom: A Dog’s Tale (Covenant Books, Inc.) Coming soon: A Cliché a day will keep the Vet Away (Another Dog’s Tale). Bill can be reached for comments or questions at (425) 652-8067 or ckuretdoc.comcast.net.