When people feel frustrated that nothing is going right, they need to use a four-letter word to fix it. Ah, it’s not the word that probably popped into your head, the word is hope. In the movie Shawshank Redemption, Andy Dufresne (who is imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit) says, “Hope is a good thing.” As long as we have hope that things will get better in the future, we can endure what’s happening in the present. Without hope, we can spiral down into a place of self-pity and despair–which is not where we want to be.
So how do we get to a place of hope when the world around us (our world) is crumbling and there seems like there is no way to rebuild it? Here are several steps you can take right now to put yourself on a path to prosperity and happiness.
1. Proof Positive
Hope comes from knowing that someone else in your same situation (or worse) has turned things around. Use Google to look up great comebacks and read about someone else that overcame similar obstacle. After studying them, print out a picture of this person and on the back write what you think THEY would do if they were in your shoes.
2. Let Go Of The Outcome
It’s easy to lose hope when you aren’t in control of the outcome of a project, proposition, or plan. Instead, get lost in the process. The Nike slogan, “Just Do It” is appropriate. Just start and let go of the things you can’t control–other’s opinions and decisions. Action is the antidote for frustration. So just start on something without caring about how it will turn out. Or, take on a tiny project you can control and see it to completion.
3. Positive People
If we are surrounded by positive people who we know are pulling for us and who help us out, encourage us, and really listen to us when we tell them about our situation and don’t judge us, we can see hope on the horizon. Make a list of the people you spend the most time with and next to their name put a plus sign if they are positive people and a minus sign of they are negative. Make it your mission to spend more time with the positive people in your life. If you don’t have enough positive people in your life, find a group that will help you better yourself and has people with a positive outlook on life–like Toastmasters, for example. (By the way, stay away from social media where other’s are flaunting their success. This can drag you down.)
4. I Can See Clearly Now
Having a vision for your future is always better than just winging it. When we wing it, anything is possible, which sounds good, but in reality is overwhelming. When we know what we want, can picture it, describe it, and verbalize it to others we are focused–and when we are focused on something (positive) we will see opportunities. Whichever way works best for you to create a clear target to aim for and a path to get there, then do it. Write down your mission statement. Pick a person or company and say, “I want to be the (fill in the blank) of my industry. Find a photo of what you want and put up where you can see it. (Also surround yourself with your past success–anything you have done in the past that motivates you in the present will do.)
5. Helping Hand
Sometimes helping others with their problems gets our minds off of our own. Seeing someone succeed and having a hand in it gives us hope that the same can happen for us.