What is life without hope? Hope is one of the pillars of the Self-Wealth concept, which I discuss in a past blog post. Hope, along with financial security and purpose, is one of the elements of a healthy, happy existence. It is your vision of a bright future.

Hope is a crucial part of Self-Wealth because it has to do with the big picture. People with abundant hope not only believe in their dreams and goals, they work toward them. They are driven, not discouraged, by the future and plot out how they will get to where they want to go.

During my time as a Certified Financial Planner™, clients have come to me with goals of all kinds—big and small, simple and complex. They may be working toward a comfortable retirement, planning a trip, saving for a boat, or they may simply be resolved to change their spending habits. No matter the goal, all of these clients have at least one thing in common: they care enough about the future to plan for it.

On the flip side, an absence of hope can be devastating. During the recession of 2008, many people developed a “who cares” kind of attitude. They believed that the situation was out of their control and there was no use trying to work toward their goals. This is an ineffective and potentially harmful approach. No matter how dire things seem, it’s a good idea to roadmap and think about your next steps, rather than shrug your shoulders and give up.

I’ve worked with clients who are burdened by debt—car loans, credit card debt, student loans, a mortgage. They often see their situation as hopeless, but that’s rarely the case. There’s usually something you can do—some lifestyle change or financial restructuring—that can help lift you out of grim circumstances.

In my recent book, Self-Wealth, a fictional couple named Alex and Jess are struggling with paying off their debts. In their case, it made sense to prioritize paying off their credit card debt first, which then gave them an extra $325 per month to use toward other funds or debt payments. Although their situation was bad at first, they never truly gave up hope. Hope is what propelled them forward and gave them the drive to make better decisions to improve life for themselves and their children.

Consider your current track. Are you headed in the right direction toward your goals? Do you feel optimistic about the future? If not, it may be time to examine your current trajectory and think about how you might make positive changes in your life. A financial planner or counselor can help clarify your goals and guide you in the right direction. When you’re feeling hopeless, you don’t have to go it alone.

Contact me if you’d like assistance in finding your path to a comfortable financial future.

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