Have you ever been so excited about an upcoming event that you start to get anxiety? You look at your calendar everyday and make off the days as they go by. One day closer to your big event, your big moment, your big dream coming true. This is what I like to call hope.
Merriam-Webster’s dictionary define hope as a desire with an expectation of fulfillment. Just like in the calendar analogy, we all have desires within our hearts that we expect to come to life. This is what fuels us to continue moving forward. This is called faith. Our faith is our fuel. Hope without faith is just a wish. Just like gas fuels a vehicle, we fuel ourselves with hope. When our car is running low on gas, we have to stop at a gas pump and refuel. In many aspects, our lives are the same. We’ll sometimes face discouragement and disappointments that drain us. It brings us down. Sometimes without even knowing it, we begin to feel sluggish and tired all of the time. Maybe we’ve lost the pep in our step. This is our “low-fuel” light coming on and warning us that we are running low on hope and we are due for a refuel. We can’t go on for much longer running on fumes. So, how do we refuel and recharge our hope? Here are a few fundamental keys that will get our “hope tanks” back on full.
- Focus on the things that are RIGHT in your life
Studies show that we are programmed to remember negative experiences before we remember positive experiences. For example, we are likely to remember the time we lost twenty dollars rather than the time we found twenty dollars. It’s just the way we are wired. The first step to correcting this is to change your thought process. Try your best to actually remember and focus on the positives in your life; the RIGHT things. When you’re feeling low, get to a quiet place. If you’re at work, excuse yourself to the restroom; or go outside and sit in your car. If you’re at home, go into an empty room and lock the door. Once there, take a seat and close your eyes. Meditate for fifteen minutes. While you are meditating, focus on positive and happy memories. It could be a time when someone complimented you… maybe they told you that your were handsome or beautiful, talented, creative, or that you dress well or smell good. Think about the times you did something nice for someone else and they were appreciative towards you. Remember how you felt in that moment knowing that you had done something nice for someone else. If you have children or nieces and nephews, think about them; focus on family. Any happy and positive memories you can pull from will be useful in this moment.
There is a exercise that I like to do with my students, but it can be applied to real life outside of a classroom. Instead of focusing on many memories, I’ll have them close their eyes and think of the last time they were happy. I’ll stand in front on them watching them as their eyes are closed and can literally see the smiles forming on their faces. I asked them to focus on their five senses. With eyes still closes, I ask, “What are you hearing? What are you feeling? It is the sun? A summer breeze? Is someone touching you? What does the air smell like? Look around (in the memory), what are you seeing? Are you eating anything? What does it taste like?” The smiles grow on their faces and some even chuckle as they recall that memory. And the end of the exercise, I tell them to write that memory down. This is important because they call always have that memory on paper, if they ever need it. I do this frequently and I can tell you that it works! Try it!
2. Be around people who inspire you
Someone once said, “If you’re the most successful person in your circle, then your circle is too small.” That resonated with me on many levels. For one, we should always strive to be learning new things. Life is a journey, not a destination; therefore, every day is a new opportunity to gain new knowledge or sharpen your skills that you currently have. When we are around others who have more experience and/or more “success”, we can learn from them. Learn from their experiences and use that to your advantage. This can prevent you from making some of the same mistakes and poor choices that they’ve made and save you lots of time, trouble, and money.
3. Set goals
It’s hard to have hope when you do not have anything to look forward to. Right? Think about it… If you have no reason to wake up in the morning and grind for your goals, then what’s the point of existing? I encourage you to set short and long term goals. Additionally, each time you attain a goals, set a new one. That way, there is always some for you to look forward to and you never become complacent or get too comfortable living the life you live. Strive to be better. If you are in the same place that you were in one year ago, then there has been no progression in your life. You’ve become stagnant. This is not healthy, physically or mentally.
Do yourself a favor: Write down a list a goals (short and long term) and place them somewhere you can see them every day. Each day you see them, make a personal declaration. Say, “I will become everything I was created to be. I will attain all of my goals. I will live in my destiny.” After you say these words, you will start to feel more confident in yourself. You’ll place your shoulders back and lift your head a little higher. You will smile more frequently and have more energy to get through your day. In turn, you’ll start inspiring others and spreading hope wherever you go.
Fancy Friends, I know I haven’t blogged in weeks! I’ve been working on a new book project. The above message is actually from it. I’m been working so hard (at work and on this book) and trying to maintain a social life. I’m so drained. But I promise I’ll be posting a lot more 🙂