Hope is the Most Powerful Force in the World | Somnieng Houern

Venerable Somnieng was formerly the second head monk of Wat Damnak Temple and a co-founder of Life and Hope Association. Somnieng completed his masters degree in public administration at the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government. In 2014 Somnieng handed his Executive Director role to Venerable Loeurm as he sought to serve the broader Cambodian people in a more public role. Somnieng continues to serve Wat Damnak Temple as a senior advisor. Watch his TED Talk….


The character strength of hope has to do with positive expectations about the future. It involves optimistic thinking and focusing on good things to come.

Hope is more than a feel-good emotion. It is an action-oriented strength involving agency, the motivation and confidence that goals can be reached, and also that many effective pathways can be devised in order to get to that desired future.

Optimism is closely linked with having a particular explanatory style (how we explain the causes of bad events). People using an optimistic explanatory style interpret events as external, unstable and specific. Those using a pessimistic explanatory style interpret events as internal, stable and global.