So how do we keep hope alive? A seed that we plant will never take root if we ignore or neglect the seed. Let’s face it we are in the midst of challenging times. All the doomsayers say there has never been such a depressed economic time as what the world is facing right now. Uncertainty lies in every corner. Some would believe that there is no hope. No hope for tomorrow or hope for our children. Despair drains from us all that is vibrant and joyful and leaves behind the empty remnants of what life was meant to be. Despair kills ambition, advances sickness, pollutes the soul, and deadens the heart. Despair can seem like a staircase that leads only and forever downward. So now that you are feeling depressed, what do you think? What do you feel deep down inside of you? Do you believe there is no hope and that all is lost? Maybe you have experienced in your life occasions where you felt this sense of despair. What did you do to bring yourself through that dark personal corner? If you are in that place right now, do you have what it takes to pull yourself through? NULL
Challenging times can be a gift if we have a full perspective.
As you think through experiences in your life and/or business, think about the times when you believed or thought you couldn’t make it through another day. Can you see now because you went through that difficulty you are stronger and better prepared to face the next storm? There is a saying that is used in many contexts, “no pain no gain.” We need opposition in all things. Opposition is actually a gift. It can be one of our greatest gifts if we let it. So how do you maintain hope? First let’s define hope. What is it? Webster defines hope as to cherish a desire with anticipation and to expect with confidence. Dieter F. Uchtdorf once wrote, “Hope is like the beam of sunlight rising up and above the horizon of our present circumstances. It pierces the darkness with a brilliant dawn. It encourages and inspires us.” So how do we keep hope alive? A seed that we plant will never take root if we ignore or neglect the seed. That is true within a variety of areas in our lives. So what do you do? I would love to hear and learn from you. Let me share some of my thoughts. List out all the things that are good in your life. Starting or maintaining a gratitude journal can keep you going in the right direction. Turn off the negativity. If you continually bombard your mind with the negativity around you, it will pull you down. It will de-energize your spirit. If you find yourself in negative conversations or around individuals that dwell on the negativity in their own lives – try to gracefully remove yourself from the situations. You don’t need it!
Set goals. If you are always looking to the future it can only help to breed hope.
If you have never gone through this formal process, start today by writing down at least five goals you would like to achieve in the near future. You will be amazed as you look back at this list and realize that most, if not all, items were achieved. Then when you are faced with another trial in your life, reflect on those goals that you have achieved in the past and it will continue to inspire you even in dark days. Laugh a good belly laugh at least once a day. It is amazing how this will clear your mind, improve your outlook and work your abs at the same time! I believe we all need to laugh more! Believe. One day when I went to work years ago, sitting on my desk was a beautiful polished rock engraved with this word. It has stood as a reminder to me that when life gets dark – just believe. With that belief, more hope and more faith will naturally result. A childhood story and one that I have read throughout the years to my children is, “The Little Engine Who Could.” This little engine is faced with a big hill to climb and very slowly and with trepidation starts moving up the hill. All the time telling itself, “I think I can, I think I can.” As more momentum takes place this little engine is more confident and “I think I can” becomes stronger feeling and is louder when eventually the little engine states I know I can. Belief, faith, and hope then result into knowledge then finally success. All great leaders, Abraham Lincoln, Julius Caesar, and Gandhi, have risen above adversity and despair. They have persevered and realized their goals and dreams and because they never gave up, they affected the lives of thousands and millions in some cases.
You too can persevere, you too will get through the challenges that life has to offer and with a long range perspective come out as the conqueror.
May we all build one another up and cheer one another along our individual paths – by doing so our joy will be rich and rewarding!