Updated: Feb 8, 2019
Life is a series of experiences good and bad, which are comprised of a series of moments. And in each moment, we have the ability to shed light on our own paths, to make the roads we are travelling that little bit brighter.
“ Time is continuous and whatever is happening right now will soon become the past. You have been through trying times before and not only survived them but thrived because of them, and you will again. Right now, there is a world of possibilities which can be harnessed to help you thrive again” .
Making Hope A Part Of Your Life
When we experience persistent and continued difficult times, we often lose hope in our ability to change, make things better and move forward in our lives. Over time we can develop a mindset where we see any or all effort as a waste of time – “What's the use in trying to get well again, I will only end up back where I am”. “I've tried many different ways to make things better, but nothing works out for me”. Although I am feeling lonely what's the point in meeting new people, I'm sure they won't like me. “Why bother exercising or dieting it won't really make a difference to my life”. You gradually come to accept that you will always be subjected to a life of misery and whatever happens, you have no control over any of it.
This mindset of despair and resignation sets up a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you have no hope, no belief in your own abilities or that any effort you take will make any difference, then that may very well be the outcome you experience. All of us face challenges, and we all have moments when there doesn’t appear to be a way out. But it is there, we just need the courage and strength to walk through what can feel like a wilderness and find a way forward. Hope is something that you learn to cultivate and grow as you make your way through life. It is so much more than a positive expectation that you have about a future outcome. Hope is also not something you can turn on and off when needed. Hope is a lifestyle that’s reflected in everything you do and in everything you are. In other words, it’s a way of living your life that transcends every part of your being.
I like to think of my hope as the fuel that helps me make the most of every situation, I find myself in every day. However, to bring hope back into my life after years of depression and suicide attempts, I had to deliberately manage my thinking to change my attitude and perspective to life so, that I could create a new mindset that hope would thrive in. You see every situation and problem has really two parts. The actual problem itself and what your mind is telling you about the problem based upon your past experiences, values, beliefs, and overall psychological makeup. It’s what I call now the fact and the fiction of life situations.
Do you know that cognitive research is now showing that much of the emotional and mental difficulties we experience is not coming from the initial problem or issue but our response to that issue? In most cases, it is not the conditions of the situation that is creating the unhappiness but rather what our mind is telling us about the difficulty that is causing the real unhappiness. The majority of the struggle comes from how we respond to those situations, through our thinking, feeling and behavior.
Making hope part of your life takes time, patience and practice. But with the effort, you will progressively make the necessary shifts within your psyche that will bring a sense of hope into your life. Remember if you really want to find hope in your life, you can, it’s always there! You just have to want to find it. You have to look to find the sweeter side of life. That begins by looking to the things you have rather than the things you don't, no matter how little they might seem to you right now. Offering gratitude is the quickest way to creating moments of happiness and peace in your life.
I know it's challenging to look at what you have rather than what you have not and to offer appreciation for it. But that is because we usually want what we don't have, thinking that once we have it, everything will be better, but it doesn't, it only exacerbates the problem. It keeps you in a default negative mindset of anger and resentment which is the pathway to further disappointment and more of the same upsetting occurrences.
Remember that setbacks, failures, and tragedy are a part of living. Whether you manage to find joy, success or hope in all of your daily struggles is very much dependent on your ability to preserve through even the toughest situations. So, keep going, you are closer to your dreams than you imagine.