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Hope: CR Synder's model for hope illustrated by a climber looking at The Ogre mountain considering the goals, pathways, and willpower that gives them hope they can climb it


I hadn’t given much thought to hope, beyond it being a nice feeling to have, until I heard of CR Snyder’s cognitive model for hope which shed a new light on it for me. He proposed a model of hope where (paraphrasing) an individual may be hopeful if they have:

  1. Goals they desire. If you don’t or can’t picture any future state you’d like then you won’t have a lot of hope.
  2. Pathways. You need to see some ways that you may make step-by-step progress towards a goal.
  3. Willpower or agency. You need to be motivated and believe that you have the ability to succeed at your goal.

With all of these you can imagine feeling hopeful. Without any one of them and you probably won’t so much.

The mountain is the Ogre, a wholly impossible looking peak scaled by Doug Scott and others for which I would have had zero hope to climb (no pathways, no willpower) and yet they remarkably did.

HT once again to Brené Brown in Dare to Lead.

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