“Hope is like a road in the country; there was never a road, but when many people walk on it, the road comes into existence.” -Lin Yutang

Does it ever feel like a wave of discouragement washes over you when you review your personal financial situation?  Sometimes it feels like you’ve been putting all of your energy into your finances, and yet despite your best efforts, the outcomes just keep getting worse.

What is the antidote to feelings of helplessness and discouragement?

Hope.  A branch of psychology called “positive psychology” is dedicated to studying the positive dimensions of the human experience, including attributes like hope.

Researcher Shane Lopez, Ph.D., defines hope as a coming together of (1) goals thinking (I want to go from here to there), (2) pathways thinking (I can find many ways to get from here to there), and (3) agency thinking (I can take action because I perceive myself as capable).

When people have more hope, they tend to be happier and have more of a sense of life meaning.  Perhaps most importantly, they demonstrate a stronger ability to cope with difficult situations.

What would it take to become more hopeful about your personal financial situation?

What concrete action can you take to strengthen your goals thinking, your pathways thinking, or your agency thinking?