How can you keep the flame of hope going when things look bleak?
In many ways, being happy is about being hopeful for the future while nurturing an optimistic mindset.
I truly believe that feeling as though there is no hope might just be one of the most challenging emotions to manage. I know that finding hope and keep the flame going during challenging times can be tricky, but for sure it is not impossible.
It’s also important to remember that no matter how hopeless things appear, there’s always the opportunity for things to get better. Even if it doesn’t seem like it at the time, things can change.
The other day I watched again one of my favorite movies, practically a classic. The best exotic Marigold Hotel, where one of the main characters reiterates, every time a disaster kinda happens, the following…In the end, it will all work out and if it hasn’t then it is not the end… Of course, I’m paraphrasing here a little, but I find solace in the wisdom of these simple words.
All of us experience challenges at times, and we all have moments where there doesn’t appear to be a way out. I’ve been there times and again. Yet everyone who doesn’t give up seems to come out of the struggles okay and often better than before. I know this to be true, firsthand.
For this reason, I wanted to bring you some simple strategies to try when you’re feeling down on your luck a bit. These are some of the things I do that help me smile again and bring me back my hope.
Consider all the miraculous things you’ve done in your life.
You’ve probably learned how to walk, talk, and maybe even how to drive. I often talk about this and more so now, as I am watching my nephew Paul, through facetime, take his first steps. Oh my! learning to walk looks so difficult but he’s not quitting. He falls, he smiles, he gets up, he tries again. Think about that for a minute.
Or let’s talk about learning how to talk. It may not seem very miraculous; nearly everyone learns to do that. But if you asked my nephew Paul right now, who is in the process of learning how to talk for sure he will give you a different opinion.
Babies start out making sounds, with time they can say a few things, after a while they can say a fair amount – though still struggle with pronunciation. This miracle happens after a few years of daily effort.
I will not even go into the pains and scares of learning how to drive. I’m sure you have some stories to tell in that area. But in the end, if you persisted, I’m sure you got it! This reminds me of my friend Jane, back in England. It took Jane eight failed attempts till she got her license on the ninth visit to the DMV. For months afterward, I was the only passenger in her car and that was because as my bestest friend I loved her unconditionally and because of my Greek DNA I take great chances.
So regardless of what you’re facing, remember your earlier miracles and know you’re entirely capable of working through any challenge you may be dealing with right now. For humans, the seemingly impossible is, in fact, possible.
I couldn’t live without it. Surely you’ve come across people who persistently see the bright side of things. They’re the ones that could stand in the middle of the worst thunderstorm the world has ever seen and say, “I think it’s starting to clear up.” If you haven’t guessed it so far, that would be me. 😉
Seek out these people and spend time with them. Their optimism will soon start to rub off on you. Talk to them about your challenges; they may have a perspective that can point you in the right direction. Another great option is to seek the help of a mentor.
Think of activities that might inspire you.
Faith can often be a source of inspiration. Prayer and meditation keep me going irrelevant to outside negativity.
Simple joys, like eating your favorite food, french fries for me. Watching documentaries or movies of great success moments in history might bring you the spark you seek. The Winston Churchill movie is one of those for me. Try reading books that chronicle the triumphs of others.
Mix it up a little…
Humor is the key to health and happiness. When was the last time you watched a movie that made you laugh till tears rolled off your eyes? The winners for me so far… Hitch with Will Smith, Faulty towers -British comedy with John Cleese and a couple of the Madea movies with Tyler Perry. –who’s life and success I wrote about in my book “Inspired” because of his tremendous determination to succeed against all odds. If you like to check out my book you can find it on Amazon or for free shipping and fun goodies, follow the link to my happiness marketplace.
One of my favorites…
Spend some time in nature. I was inspired the other day by the intelligence of the tiny lizard in my back garden who figured out how to get his next meal through my wind chimes. Incredible achievement.
But most important. Be courageous. Often, cultivating hope requires the courage to take that first step forward. Give yourself the chance to find your way through your challenges.
If you want to find hope in your life, you can…
Your search for hope might take some work, but don’t give up. You’ve come so far. Just keep working through the obstacle and you’ll soon discover that you have plenty of reasons to be hopeful. And remember…regardless of your challenges, there are always ways through them.
Stay well. Talk soon!
P.S. Did you find value? Share with a friend or two who could benefit from this information.
If you have any questions on anything I mentioned above or need help with something, reach out by scheduling a call with me.