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June 17, 2015 12:01 AM EDT
Barker is the author of Barking Up The Wrong Tree

There’s a scientific reason to have hope

Everyone says “have hope.” Is that just silly pollyanna optimism?

No. Actually there’s a science to hope.

Via Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined:

Hope is “not just a feel-good emotion.” Hope is predictive.

Those without hope avoid bigger challenges, quit earlier, and act helpless.

Via Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined:

Hope isn’t just wishful thinking. It’s related to positive outcomes.

People who scored higher in hope had higher GPA’s and did better academically.

Via Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined:

Hope doesn’t just make you a better student, it also makes you more creative.

Via Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined:

As I’ve posted before, hope predicts achievement better than intelligence, grades or personality.

It actually predicts law school GPA better than the LSAT.

Via Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined:

Okay, okay, so hope is a good thing.

(For more on how to be successful and happy, click here.)

I know what you’re asking: How can I be more hopeful?

How you can have hope

As I’ve posted before, research shows that both hope and despair can be self-fulfilling prophecies.

A simple exercise before a challenge can increase your level of hope — and your results.

Via Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined:

So let’s break this down. Before a big challenge:

  1. Imagine your goal.
  2. Write down anything that might stop you from achieving it.
  3. Come up with a few contingency plans to address those obstacles.
  4. Rule the world.

Just doing those three things can increase your level of hope and dramatically improve how well you perform.

This little bit of planning not only addresses real issues, it improves your feeling of control over the situation.

(For more on how to stop being lazy and get more done, click here.)

You now have a reason to believe you’ll do well. That’s hope.

One More Thing

Life’s not all about “improving performance.”

Hope also makes you happier.

Via Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined:

Better performance, creativity and happiness.

Give it a shot. It can work. C’mon, have a little hope.

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This piece originally appeared on Barking Up the Wrong Tree.

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