Hopefulness is a state of being that is cultivated and eventually can become habitual. We as individual are responsible for seeking the inspiration and tools needed to maintain a state of hopefulness.
The first step is to become aware of our state of being at any given moment of any day. How am I feeling? Label it. Why am I feeling this way? Is this feeling helping me or hindering me? What can I do that would be helpful?
The second step is to choose a new state of being if we find the one we are in is not helping us.
- How am I feeling? “I’m feeling really discouraged that my life is not what I thought it would be at my age.”
- Why am I feeling this way? “I had dreams that I thought I would have accomplished, or at least be accomplishing.”
- Is this feeling helping me? “Well, not really, because although I am realizing that I have not accomplished my dreams, I am not working toward them as I am wallowing in my own self pity. This self pity makes me feel discouraged and hopeless.
- What can I think/feel/do that would be helpful? “I can decide to accept where I am at this moment…since I can’t change the past, and spend the next bit of time that I have doing what will set me on a path toward my goal. I can choose not to beat myself up, and instead give myself some encouragement.
Sometimes when we ask ourselves what I can do that would be helpful, we find that the best thing would be to let go of that goal. Our past goals can weigh us down, and as we honestly reevaluate, we find that they are not our goals anymore. Getting rid of goals that are past their expiration date… or are simply not appropriate for our lives at this moment can help to create room in our hearts and minds for fresh & current goals. It’s kind of like cleaning out your fridge. Getting rid of the expired food makes room for new nourishing food.
I actually used to have an aversion to goals. I think I was afraid to make them anticipating that I wouldn’t accomplish them. So, I had to redefine what goals were for me. My goals grow and change and alter in form constantly. Also, my goals are often not pertaining to anything particularly productive. For example right now I am working on cultivating resilience. I know that becoming more resilient will improve my quality of life and the consistency of my well being. This is a goal. It’s what I want for myself and I am conscious of how it will benefit me. It may not get me a job, or elevate my status or income. It’s just for me. For me, this is the best kind of goal. Just for me!
The point that I really want to drive home is that we are responsible for our state of being. If we want to feel hopeful, we must seek it, all the while working to direct ourselves away from any thought, situation or person that will hinder us in our search.
- Goal Statement: My goal is to be more hopeful.
- Accompanying question: I this or that helping me in my goal to become more hopeful?
- Accompanying action: I will think/feel/do ___ to support my goal.
A hopeful, positive, resilient attitude can be cultivated. Focus on that which uplifts you and you will discover that you already have a wealth of inspiration at your fingertips.
Sometimes we find that negativity is overwhelming us, and we can’t seem to pull ourselves out of it. If this happens to you simply shift your focus to what you are thankful for.
Write it down, say it out loud, think it inside: I am thankful for _______, ________, & _______!
If you are at a loss, you can borrow these: I am thankful for…
- my sense of smell especially when I’m smelling my favorite perfume
- my sense of touch especially when taking a hot shower after a long cold day
- sight especially when when looking at my favorite picture
- sound especially when listening to my favorite song
- taste especially when eating my favorite dish
- my legs that walk me around
- my lungs that take in and release air in an entirely satisfying way
- …you get the point… it can become a long list!
Continue to list or repeat what you are thankful for until your state of being improves. HOPE will follow!
Tools that will help to set you on the right path continue to CMH – Part 4 Choosing
Hope is part 3 of a 4 part series addressing this question:
How many ways can I utilize a degree in music? I am finishing my AA, and desperately want to get a BA in some kind of musical training. I love to sing and perform but can’t decide if I should go for what I love, or what will “pay”? Please give me some hope!