I am a hopeful person and continuously look for a silver lining in situations or the way to get through or over an obstacle. I believe you always can find or create something positive, and even the worst conditions can be made better by imagining something good on the other side.
Additionally, I believe hope opens doors and brings solutions. And hope keeps us moving forward even when things look hopeless.
Hopeless People Act in Hopeless Ways
Recently, something happened that made me think about hope and hopelessness. Someone prayed on my good and trusting nature and that of people in a Facebook group I run. It would be easy to judge her—to say she was wrong or bad. (And some of us did… Even I did for a while.)
But I think maybe she felt hopeless. And that state caused her to make some bad choices. It made her act in the way she did.
What Happens When You Feel Hopeless
Now, based on her actions, it would be easy for me to say “People can’t be trusted,” “People are bad,” or “Everyone is out to get me.” I could lose my faith in and hope for humanity.
Many people in many places around the world feel hopeless. They see the world negatively because they look at the news, politics in their country, their lives, or a particular situation and don’t see how they can change anything. Their sense of powerlessness leads them to hopelessness.
And if they don’t think anyone or anything will cause a change to happen—no matter what—they become hopeless. After all, how can you have hope if you don’t believe anything can or will change for the better?
And then they may take hopeless—and desperate—action. (Like the person who scammed my Facebook group.) Or they take no action at all reasoning that “It doesn’t matter. Nothing will change. It’s hopeless.”
Hope Moves You Forward
However, you could choose differently, which is what I tend to do. I look at a so-called hopeless situation and consciously seek a reason to have hope. I generate hope.
Why? Because hope has the power to move you forward. It ensures you don’t feel desperate or take desperate action—like creating a scam to get yourself out of a dire financial situation or, worse yet, taking your life.
No matter what, you have to have hope. Hope is what drives you forward. It’s a feeling—a knowing—that there’s something better in the future. Hope keeps you looking forward to that “something better” and finding ways to create it.
Ask Powerful Questions
When you feel hopeless, it can feel challenging to generate hope. But you can. Here’s how…
- You can move out of hopelessness by asking powerful questions.
In the situation I describe, I asked, “What is it that drove this woman to do this?” That put me in a place of compassion for her and others like her. From compassion, I could feel hopeful—if not for her then at least for others in her situation and about people in general.
Maybe you wonder what drove a terrorist to set off a bomb or a shooter to open fire on children. Ask that question: What prompted that person to do such a thing? If you allow yourself to walk in their shoes for even a few moments, you’ll get some unexpected answers. For instance, you might realize the person felt unheard or understood and lacked hope that anyone would pay attention. So he sought a way to be sure someone noticed and heard his message.
- Then make it personal. Cosider what it would take for you to lose hope—to become completely hopeless—to the extent that you did something desperate?
- On the other side of that coin, think about what it would take for you to feel hopeless but generate hope. How could you find or do something different and solve your problem or create or move toward a better future?
When you think about people in human terms, it brings back your humanity. And it restores your hope for humanity. (It also provides faith in humanity.)
After all, we all make mistakes and struggle. It’s how we deal with those struggles that makes the difference. And when someone feels hopeless, they don’t always make good choices about how to behave.
Have hope. That’s my challenge to you. Here are a few more ways to do that:
- Envision a better future, the future you want.
- Feel compassionate towards others who are struggling.
- Don’t judge.
- Love, accept, and forgive—without condoning.
- Practice acts of compassion and kindness.
- Remember that everyone is struggling on some level.
- Connect with your passion.
- Find your purpose.
- Determine your next inspired action.
- Create new, inspired results.
Focus on Being of Service
Follow these ten steps, and you will generate hope, faith and happiness. But don’t forget the eleventh step:
Be of service.
When you spend your time and place your attention on helping others, you’ll see them develop a higher level of hope. That restores your hope.
During the time I was dealing with the situation in my Facebook group, I also was completing 15-minute coaching sessions with writers. Doing so forced me to focus on their struggles and dreams and how to get them from where they were to where they wanted to go. I’d offer each person a tip or two to help them feel more motivated and able to achieve their goals. And they became inspired and hopeful about their future.
In the process of being of service, I found myself feeling more positive and hopeful myself. I realized that a few of these writers felt desperate and as if no solution existed for their problem. But, with a bit of support, they were able to get out of that hopeless place and see a way to resolve their issue and take action toward their goals.
No matter what, don’t make yourself wrong for losing hope. Work toward feeling hopeful instead. As you increase your level of hope, you will see the potential for a better future for yourself and others as well
How do you generate hope? Tell me in a comment below.
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