This article was originally published in Profectus Magazine.

We often view hope as a feeling that reflects our outlook on something we wish for. Sometimes we feel hope in positive situations, such as eagerly awaiting news of a job offer or promotion. Here, hope embodies our enthusiasm and anticipation that our desires will be fulfilled. Conversely, hope can also emerge during challenging times, such as when a loved one receives a serious medical diagnosis. In these moments, hope signifies our optimism and determination that what we fear can be averted and that things will improve, even against seemingly insurmountable odds. In both scenarios, hope lies at the center of our aspirations and goals; it is what keeps our dreams alive and fuels us to persist. Indeed, thirty-plus years of psychological research confirm that hope is an essential psychological ingredient for progress. Drawing from this body of knowledge, I want to share the advantages of hope for personal and community growth and provide simple strategies for individuals to nurture hope within themselves and spread it within their communities.