Later today I will go out and run for the 672nd day in a row. I don’t always find it joyful to go for a run. For a couple of days I have had some pain in my left calf. Sometimes the rain is pouring down. During the winter it’s dark, cold and icy – or even worse – slushy. Every once in a while I remember to run just before I go to bed. I can feel tired, powerless and unmotivated. But regardless of the circumstances, I run at least 20 minutes a day.

For me, part of the reason I run is linked to hope. I hope to live a long healthy life. A life where I have the ability to do most things I want for as long as possible. Without this hope, I would not go out later today. Instead I would stay inside and lie on the couch. Hope gives me motivation and energy to postpone instant rewards. Instead, I sacrifice something now to obtain the reward later. In this case, I hope that the reward in the form of health comes in the distant future, as late in life as possible.

I have a hard time imagining a life without hope. I can certainly visualise a life where circumstances unfold moment by moment. But if I were to live in conditions where my basic needs were not met, I would probably need hope to endure. Without hope, things would be just hopeless. It would be a life that is about surviving rather than living.

Hope and passivity

I guess hope can lead to passivity. Climate change can be an example. Personally, I hope that the rise in temperature in the world will slow down. That carbon dioxide emissions caused by human activities will be drastically reduced in the coming years. With this hope I can live my life without doing anything to contribute to the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions. My need for hope can in this case still be met without me doing anything else than just hoping for the best outcome.

At the same time, there are many people who have no hope when it comes to the change of climate. Actions that spring from hopelessness can look the same as actions based on hope. Both conditions can lead to passivity. Since it’s hopeless and too late doing anything to stop the climate change, there is no point in changing my habits. I might even do more of the things many of us would need to cut back on, to cope with a change. If we’re doomed and nothing can be done, I don’t have to think so much about the long-term consequences of my actions.

The risk of hopelessness

Another risk with hopelessness is that I might take on radical methods. In combination with other needs, such as respect, understanding or being seen, the lack of hope can result in actions that don’t take other people’s needs into account. I may perform violent actions to draw people’s attention to our unsustainable lifestyle.

The importance of hope

Based on the above, I think that it’s important to meet the need for hope at the population level. If people don’t experience hope, it can lead either to more passivity or to desperate actions. With hope, I believe that we will choose more long-term sustainable solutions.

This hope can not be just a mind game. It needs to be based on concrete feasible results. I think we need to see goals that are realised and that lead to real change. Otherwise we will just be disillusioned and the risk is that we will be passivated. Together with other needs such as cooperation, meaning and creativity, hope can contribute to co-creating a world where everyone’s needs – humans, animals and the planet as a whole – are taken into account.

What contributes to your need for hope? How can you contribute to the need for hope to others?

Leave a comment below or, if you are a Premium subscriber of “The Needs’ Year”, at the online platform: 


Joachim Berggren (CNVC Certified Trainer)

_ _ _ _

On 23 June at 18:00-18:45 CEST, you can participate in a Zoom Talk with me and Magdalena Kosinska-Klaehn. We will talk about the need for hope.

Sign up for the Needs’ Year and you will receive a link to Zoom.

If you read this afterwards, you can watch the recording when you become a premium subscriber. Check the details HERE.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x

Pin It on Pinterest