Our two previous blogs were designed to help individuals find and strengthen their own active hope, especially in a time of widespread disruption. Now let’s focus on how we help and inspire others build more active hope in their own lives. 

Why does inspiring active hope in others matter?

Any organization or community needs the energy to continue evolving and become better. When people have active hope, they bring more positivity and purpose to their day-to-day work. This combination becomes an incredible asset that promotes the evolution of the living systems around you. That’s why the number of individuals who have active hope in your organization and community matter.

If people are feeling hopeless about change, they contribute zero energy to creating a better future. If people have passive hope, they can actually drain the energy of active hope leaders because they are relying on someone else to create change. In other words, this dependency drains energy from the individuals who are carrying a vision of the future and working to create that future. Without inspiring active hope in others, we burn ourselves out by carrying too much of the load when we could be inspiring others to move from passive to active hope. 

Recognizing active hope in others

Here are some ways you can recognize active hope in others. You know you have active hope when you or others say things like this: 

“I believe what I do today will make a difference tomorrow.”

“Having a vision of a better future helps get me out of bed in the morning.”

“I turn my hope into action.”

“When I act to create a better future, it inspires and attracts others to help make things happen.”

Leadership and active hope

When it comes right down to it, leadership is always about change.  Truly engaged leaders see the present and can imagine a better future.  To imagine and work for a better future, we must have active hope.  If we feel hopeless about the future, there is no reason to change our behavior in the present. When we believe our actions matter and that we can change or influence the future, we engage with our communities differently. That difference in behavior and belief is leadership.

Inspiring active hope in others

Here are four ways to inspire active hope in others: 

  1. Invite others to have conversations about the future of your community or organization. This will strengthen the picture of who we want to become, and our vision will be influenced by the diversity of voices sharing their thoughts.
  2. Share why you have active hope with others. Stories are powerful ways to help people believe their actions matter. When you share your story with others, it gives others a road map to form their own story that aligns with active hope.
  3. Lift up examples of others in the organization and community that are displaying active hope. Youth in our communities often carry active hope for the future of their community, but we aren’t always in connection with people who aren’t sitting at the same table as us. Take time to seek out people who display active hope and create a way for them to tell their stories.
  4. Lead in a way that connects past actions to a better present and helps others connect their actions in the present to a better future. Leadership helps others make meaning of their day-to-day actions and their aspirations. When we make meaning for others, it motivates them to attune their behaviors to the change they want to see. 

Let’s imagine a world filled with people who bring active hope to their lives, communities, organizations, and our planet.

Active hope is an essential resource for any organization and community that wants to evolve and thrive in the future. I believe it’s even more important for the future of our world. We have many challenges facing us over the next decade and beyond. Climate change will require all of us to act in a way that helps our planet, and ensure that all life thrives in the future. We can’t afford to have people feeling hopeless about climate change and social justice. For every person who brings active hope to these significant challenges, we increase our chances exponentially to make progress and significantly change our collective future