“Choose to be optimistic, it feels better” – Dalai Lama.
A new year provides us the opportunity of renewed hope and the need for us to hit the reset button or find the courage to move forward in life. Through our shared experiences in the previous year, we have learned about the importance of hope for our mental health, individual survival, and the preservation of the human race.
Hope is an optimistic state of mind that is based on an expectation of positive outcomes with respect to events and circumstances in one’s life or the world at large. Hope requires patience. When we hope for things beyond our control, we must patiently wait for their physical manifestation. Our actions, to a large extent, also determine the outcome of our expectations, hence the saying “when life throws us a lemon, we make lemonade out of it.” When we fail to make lemonade out of lemons, we become stagnant.
Life is designed in a way that hope is embedded in the very fabric of our everyday living. We sleep at night and hope to God we wake up the next day. When we get sick, we get medical intervention, trust the medical practitioner, and hope to get well. We eat food and hope to get nutrients or nourishment from it. A farmer plants a seed and waits patiently with the hope of a bountiful harvest. We invest in multiple portfolios with the mindset of gaining a large ROI. A pregnant woman hopes to get delivered of her child safely, without any complications.
We establish an enterprise with the intent to profit. We start this new year with the hope that things will get better than the previous years. We embark on a journey and hope to get to our destination in one piece. I am writing this essay with the hope that you read it. The truth is that hope is tremendously vital to our personal growth, development, and every facet of our lives.
Nothing gets started without hope and, without faith, we can never arrive at our expected end. Hope gives our life meaning and this makes it a very dangerous thing to lose; the very day we lose hope is the day we stop seeing the essence of our stay on earth. Have you heard the saying that a living dog is better than a dead lion? It means as long as you are alive, better days are still ahead of you. If you have hope, work, and pray, no mountain will be too high to climb and no journey will be too far once you take the first step. The difference between where you are and where you ought to be is the initial step.
To live fully and meaningfully, we must be hopeful and focus on the positive side of life. We must keep hope alive through our thoughts and actions. We must find reasons to keep going even when the odds are against us. We are not privileged to know what tomorrow may bring but we must remain focused and be positive if we want to get the best out of life.
Life’s challenges are temporary setbacks that can either control the direction or change the course of our life’s journey if we allow them. We must not allow the present situation of our lives or the economy of the country to define who we are. We give our life definition by looking at the brighter side of life, living purposefully, focusing on the good and what we can actually control.
Certainly, there are things we have no control over that tend to interfere with what we can control. When that happens, know that complaining about things you have zero control over saps the productive energy you should otherwise conserve. We must keep hope alive even when we are having a bad day – having a bad day does not mean you have a bad life. Better days await only if you don’t give up. Find hope in your environment, your friends, family, associates, and humanity will be better for it.