How Do You Maintain Hope?

Maintaining hope is an important skill for anyone. When bad things happen — and they are bound to eventually — hope keeps us going. When times are particularly difficult, how can you avoid becoming despondent? How do you maintain hope?

A positive attitude allows for a better life. It can give you confidence, and in turn that confidence allows yo top make changes that will hopefully be for the better. Improvement in your life circumstances is dependent on efforts to improve. And those efforts, in turn, depend on trusting that things can, in fact, get better.


Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss a related question: ‘What are you optimistic about?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘What makes a tradition?’


In that regard, hope is one of the most important feelings. It is through hopefulness that all else becomes possible.

However, there are times when it is very difficult to stay hopeful. In the face of seemingly insurmountable odds, for example. Or after a long series of setbacks. If you don’t see much growth or improvement, it is easy to become cynical.

So what can you do to combat this? What behaviors or techniques can you employ to keep hope alive in seemingly hopeless times?

Related questions: Why should we be hopeful? How can we maintain wonder? Optimistic or pessimistic? What are you optimistic about? When do you need inspiration?

How Does Media Manipulate You?

It is easy to imagine how someone you disagree with might be manipulated by the media they consume. But how does your media manipulate you?

Frequently, I see people referred to as sheep. The implication is that they blindly follow whatever they hear. The person using the word “sheep”, however, would never fall for such obvious tricks. Or so they believe.


Related: Listen to the Intellectual Roundtable podcast where Michael and Lee discuss the question, ‘How much of our thoughts are our own?’ Stay tuned for a bonus question, ‘How much is enough?’


In reality, all news, opinion, and entertainment programs use many methods to get you to believe what they want you to believe. That might include word choice, music, on-screen text, sharing only one side of an argument, or even outright lies.

While it is easy to notice these flaws in the media outlets that don’t share your worldview, it is much harder to be critical of the media — newspaper articles, cable news, web sites, and so on — that you consume on a regular basis, and that you agree with.


Related: Here is a podcast episode with the question, ‘What beliefs do you have that might be wrong?’ We also discuss a second question, ‘What makes a place feel like home?’


Are you familiar with the rhetorical methods that are used to persuade? Do you recognize some of the behaviors that you condemn in others in your own choice of news? Can you recognize, in what you read or watch, an agenda being driven, even if you agree with that agenda? How does media manipulate you?

Related questions: How much of our thoughts are our own? How does your vocabulary influence how you think? What beliefs do you have that might be wrong? What deserves your attention?

What Does Spirituality Mean To You?

The word “spirituality” means different things to different people.

For some, the word may conjure up visions of a religious ceremony, attended by a cleric, with or without a choir and a sacred text.

Others might think of healing crystals and psychic readings.

Some people think spirituality simply means a walk in the woods, listening to the gentle sounds of nature.

Each person must decide the right way for him or her to commune with something greater than themselves.

Do you have a preferred way? Perhaps meditation? Praying? Ouija board? Tarot deck? Magic eight ball?

What does spirituality mean to you? Are there certain rituals you follow? And how did you come to your views on this very personal belief?

Related questions: Do you believe in the supernatural? Are science and religion compatible? What gives you purpose?