How to Sustain Hope
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That you have a single breath within your body right now and that you are alive in this moment is hope.
That you can see all these people walking on the streets smiling is hope.
That all these entrepreneurs are posting their art online every single day now, there is hope there.
That there is a single person out in this world whose soul is still burning alive with love is hope.
It’s so easy, during these days when sometimes there’s darkness, when you see all this negative media coverage, or maybe you have a series of bad days or bad weeks, or your lucky break just isn’t coming, or you’ve been fighting for that dream but you just don’t sense any of that progress that you need to still feel enlivened, engaged and enthusiastic about something, or someone breaks up with you, or you lose your job, or something happens with your health.
That’s part of life—that there’s going to be so many struggles, disappointments, challenges, setbacks and dark days.
Part of sustaining and making it through all of that is maintaining hope. And hope isn’t something that’s just some airy fairy concept; it is a psychological need to believe that we can endure. A psychological need to believe that we can not only endure but that we can succeed and thrive and we can have our way in the world, so that we can accomplish our dreams, make influence and make our own difference. Have hope.
But, even as I say that, let me reconfigure that statement and phrase because too many people say, “Well, you have hope or you can lose hope.” But hope isn’t something you actually “have” or lose, even though we say that phrase at such a popular level.
Years ago, a metaphor came into my life that changed my life forever. It changed my attitude, my actions and how I thought about life and frankly, how I felt every single moment of the day. It was something that lifted me to a whole other level of joy and vibrancy in life. It was this simple metaphor: The power plant doesn’t ‘have’ energy, it transforms and generates energy.
At the same level, we don’t “have” hope. We transform the energy around us and generate hope. We don’t “have” happiness; we generate happiness. Similarly, we don’t “have” sadness or fatigue. We don’t “have” those feelings that so many people think are negative that just land on them. We are, in our own actions, our own thoughts and interpretations—the very thoughts that we’re feeding our psyche—those very things are generating an emotion. And hope is something that is generated by us.
When it feels like it is gone, it becomes a to-do list for us to generate it once more, just like when your phone is dying you plug it in to charge it up. Well, when your hope is dying, it’s time to generate and charge it up again. It’s the same thing with happiness and aliveness and enthusiasm. Those are things when they’re going down you have to get focused and plug back into your passions, to your dreams, to tomorrow to charge yourself back up again and it begins with first and foremost, keeping perspective.
A lot of people “lose” hope because their focus goes off. They become very myopic to their own ego, their own emotional reality, their own tiny little world and they miss the joy, abundance, the connection, the incredible energy of this buoyant and jubilant world all around them, even when sometimes the immediate people in their lives or their immediate tribe or culture is not so good.
We have 7 billion people alive today and somehow we haven’t all killed each other—that sustains and motivates hope.
The reality that so many people are making it, that freedom is starting to perpetuate around the world more, that wealth and abundance is coming to more and more and more people, that more and more people are able to dictate their aims, attitudes and dreams today because more information is available than ever before… These things give us hope.
So as soon as we lose perspective and just go into our little tiny day, our little tiny moment, it’s time to expand your awareness and consciousness to the greater stream of life that is happening all around.
Go for a walk in the woods. Look at nature and realize how lucky we are to be here. Go for a stroll outside and look at people as they smile and realize how lucky you are to be here. Walk into a restaurant and see people flirting with each other and having fun at dinner or celebrating, and you start getting a different sense of life. Sometimes you have to get out of your house to feel hope, to keep perspective.
Remember Your Strength
If you’re down right now and struggling, don’t forget to also pull forth and integrate those successes that you’ve had before, those times in your life when things did go well, those times in your life when you surprise yourself with how well you did something or how kind you were or how much you cared or how good of a piece of art you did create. Remember those strength times, those times that there was success, those times that good things did happen. Pull them, feel them, sense them and bring those things to the moment at hand where things do feel frustrating, challenging, disappointing or dark.
Don’t lose perspective. You’ve had beautiful days before. They’ll come again. It’s believing in that that sustains our hope.
Make a Plan
It’s easy to lose hope if there’s no plan. If there’s no vision the people perish. That’s biblical, right? So you have to have a vision for your life.
What is it you see out there for yourself? What is your plan to go and get it?
Believe in your ability to go and be able to make those things come true, even if you’re frustrated and challenged right now, because in this moment, you can choose new thoughts. In this moment you can choose new actions. You can choose to go now and learn some new things, get more and better mentors, to get around a more positive group of people, to read better books and watch better programming. You can choose to direct your focus in ways that will support your growth and have the ability to achieve a plan.
Sit down tonight, amidst all the turmoil and craziness of the world if that’s what you’re feeling, sit with a piece of paper and pen and spill out hope onto the page of what you want to do with your life. Spill out hope onto the page about what it is you want to give, what it is you want to accomplish, achieve, connect and contribute with the world or create. Write it down. Write out reasons to be grateful. Write out reasons to go achieve things. Write out things you want to make happen and start putting a plan towards that.
What would be step one, step two, step three? As you start marching along to achieve that and you fall or falter, don’t give up on yourself. Know that there’s always a new step. If you fail at one step, create a new step to get back up to the next step.
Don’t give up just because it’s challenging or struggling because your dreams are worth it and your dreams don’t care how hard it gets. Your dreams don’t care if you get frustrated. Your dreams don’t care if there’s going to be dark days. Your dreams know they are worth it and it’s time for you to believe in them again and start working towards them at full capacity.
That brings up the third thing.
To have hope we have to stay persistent. To keep at it no matter what.
If we’ve got our perspective in mind. If we have our plan then we have to be persistent, to keep working towards it.
There were so many times that I almost stopped doing these videos. So many times that I thought I’m not going to write another book. So many times I thought no one cares about my blog posts or Facebook posts. No one cares about my YouTube show. No one cares about me. Oh, whoa is me.
We can all sit on the couch, eat a bunch of potato chips and watch stupid television and feel sorry for ourselves, but that does not contribute to our aliveness. It does not contribute to the connection of those we love and care for and it does not contribute to the things we create and ultimately give to the world.
We have to say you know what, what are we going to persist at? Sitting and eating potato chips and watching TV? That’s not going to be good.
What we have to do is persist towards our dreams.
What are the three things you could accomplish this very day and tomorrow and start moving towards your dreams?
Every day wake up with an intention: I’m going to do at least three things to move myself forward to something that matters. At least three things—everybody can do that.
What are the three things I’m going to do to move my life forward this day?
Who would I need to reach out to, to be able to move forward?
What could I read or study online to move forward?
What could I do just one simple request or movement or step to move forward and persist at that over and over again?
That’s how things change.
People look at me now and they’re like, “Wow, you know, you have millions of views on YouTube and millions of followers online from Facebook to your email, number one bestselling books” and all these things. There were a million times I could have given up, but I sustained hope that it would ultimately make a difference, that if I just kept persisting at it and kept working that one day it would turn out. If I stayed on the path of my dreams and kept removing distractions. I didn’t say yes to everything. I said yes to what moved me towards my dreams. I worked towards that with such persistence that now I get to do this and it’s true joy.
I couldn’t have done it without, not only your support, but without the realization that hope is important to sustain.
If you’re really frustrated and hating it right now, the easiest way for hope to go out the door is to get in a hurry. So you’re getting in a big hurry, you’re pushing and now you don’t sense the win, the momentum or progress anymore, you’re just more, more, more. You’re in such a big hurry to have more things that sometimes it feels like you have nothing and the reality is you do. But a part of achieving anything is having the patience to work towards it, and having the patience with other people.
Sometimes we lose hope in other people, not really that we lost hope… we just forgot to be patient with them. You need to give a lot of patience to the people in your life if you’re going to sustain hope for them and for your relationships with them. Patience is a critical element. It’s not discussed a lot, but it’s so fundamental to having hope: to be patient with it.
I hope you’ll take those things to mind because I know the days can get dark, but you deserve to have your dreams. You deserve to keep at them. You deserve to sustain that full power, that full energy that hope can cultivate in you, because when you have full hope you’re more confident and willing to go for it or willing to try. You deserve it. Your dreams deserve it and each day starts to feel a little more bright, each day starts to feel a little more magical, each day you start to notice the things to have hope for. Each day you notice the things you’ve done that make other people hopeful.
The next thing you know, suddenly you have this incredible life that’s full of hope, aliveness, joy and full of light, and that’s what we call The Charged Life.
Like this post? Please share it your friends and family. Let’s bring the charge and spark and joy to others.