Pandora’s Box & The Psychology of Hope

Anger, jealousy, joy, hurt, love, comfort, it all started fluttering out of the box. A confounded Pandora closed the lid of the box. It was too late. The curse of Zeus and curiosity of Pandora left humanity helpless. Vigilant Pandora closed lid before one thing could fly away from the box, HOPE. The story of Pandora depicts the helpless nature of human beings, but one thing we control is hope. Well, we hope even when sometimes we are hopeless. That’s the charm of hope. It’s always there in the box.

“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”-Martin Luther King Jr. When people come to psychotherapists, they have usually tried it all. They have been to the mountains, different cults, met the Gurus, Buas and Babas. Been there, done that but in vain. In depression or other disorders what we first work on is hope. Yes, you can get better. Hope plays an important role in therapy. If you can reach till hope, you can reach everywhere. Let’s understand hope better technically as there are many definitions of hope. I have given two definitions at the end**, this might interest people with research background. I don’t want readers to lose hope by simply reading the definition so made a simple chart to explain the concept behind it.

Hope consists of three things.

1) Goals – Goal forms an important ingredient. A goal which has enough value to occupy our conscious thoughts. Hopeful goals have some uncertainty. Look for that. 2) Routes – Hope also consists of different pathways and routes to achieve the goal. If we can’t see the routes hopes starts to fade away. 3) Motivation – important part of hope is motivated to take on life’s Goals. Regardless of barriers. So even if we don’t look at hope every day in these three terms, but we wake up with hope. It forms an important part of our living. What keeps us alive more than oxygen blood or perhaps even love is hope. You can know more about Stories, analogies and metaphors in our upcoming workshop "Metaphors we live by" References :

1) Psychology of Hope: You Can Get Here from There 2) Handbook of Hope: Theory,Measures and Applications

**Hope defined – One form of the hope definition is, “a positive motivational state that is based on an interactively derived sense of success (a) Agency (goal-directed energy) and (b) Pathways (planning to meet goals)” (Snyder, Irving, & Anderson, 1991, p. 2 87) Another definition of hope is “a cognitive set that is based on a reciprocal-derived sense of successful agency (goal-directed determination) and pathways (planning to meet goals)” (Snyder, Harris, et al., 1991, p. 571)

About the Author

Guruprasad Shivakamat

Learning addict. Speaker. Writer. Thought designer. Senior Psychologist and Trainer at Hope Doctors

Co-founder (Metamorphosis, Innovationadda). Author of GRIP™ why people don’t do what they want to.

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