I mentioned in one of my videos that “There is a lot of uncertainty in life, whether in our personal affairs or in our changing and unsteady political climate, and I would add now, especially these days with such world turmoil. I also said in that broadcast that The strategies we often rely on to deal with such uncertainty tend to be self-defeating. When we face an uncertain future we often resort to feelings of anxiety and worry, as well as complaining or becoming negative in our outlook.
Today's article is taking the same theme of hope and looking at it as a way to help us move forward and embrace it during these difficult times. Think of it as lighting a candle when things look dark.
For sure we all have dreams, goals, and aspirations we want to achieve. Some of us achieve every goal we have while others don’t. One thing that causes trouble for most people to attain their goals is that they give up when things become unbearable, or when things look bleak and they can’t seem to find a way out of their dilemma or situation. And just when we think we have it all figured out and we are a few steps away from reaching our goal, life throws us curve balls. For instance, we lose a job , or the promotion we worked extra hours for goes to someone else, or our investment doesn’t go as well as we had planned, or our business goes south.
The road to success is paved with difficulties, setbacks, uncertainties, and a whole host of problems that make it hard for us to keep chasing our dreams. However, hope can help us keep moving forward despite what happens. Hope has the power of turning our life around and helping us fulfill our purpose amid all the problems, discouragements, and difficulties we face.
People who hold on to hope after drastic failures have a better chance of overcoming them compared to those who quit. This is because hope keeps us looking forward. It shifts our attention from bad situations to the countless possibilities within our reach. Hope reminds us that we still have a chance to turn things around and inspires us to keep trying.
When things don’t turn out the way we expect, hope reignites our belief and says to us, “I can still make this work” and “There’s always a light at the end of the tunnel.”
Holding on to hope as well as realizing its significance in bringing our vision to life and living peacefully is a key to bouncing back from failures, getting past mistakes, and moving forward when the road gets tough.
Today we need to understand the importance of hope and its impetus in helping us move our lives forward. It's time to embrace it. In so doing, however, we need to realize that not everything will go our way. That we will face hardships, fall down several times, be disappointed when we least expect it, and from time to time not achieve what we set out to do.
Hope is the only thing that will help us through all that. It ensures us never give in or give up. It gives us a sense of peace in our struggles and empowers us to get back up and keep on moving forward.
In these troubled times here are 5 ways to nourish your sense of hopefulness.
1. Focus on what you can change.
Remember the Serenity Prayer,
“God grant me the Serenity to accept the Things I cannot change,
Courage to change the Things I can, and
The Wisdom to know the difference.”
The most effective way of cultivating hope is to focus on what you can change. When you focus on your capabilities as well as what you can change, pursuing your goal, and reigniting your zeal becomes easy. You are back in the driver’s seat.
2. Visualize where you want to be and what you want to achieve.
Helen Keller once said, “The only thing worse than being blind is having sight and no vision.”
Holding on to your vision is difficult when you are going through a series of misfortunes. The only way of ensuring you never allow difficult times to get in the way of achieving your goal is by visualizing what you want to achieve, who you want to be, and where you want to go. Seeing yourself achieving your goals and becoming who you intend to be or what you want your business to look like in 10 years, will rekindle your hope and keep you holding on to it throughout the good and difficult times.
3. Be around optimistic people.
Surrounding yourself with optimistic people and people who always bring out the best in every situation is one of the best ways of cultivating hope. When you are around hopeful people, you adopt their behavior and always see the glass half full. So, to ensure that you keep holding on to hope when things don’t go your way, hold on to the people who give you hope and keep you hopeful. You can find these people in business associations, faith groups, and service organizations.
4. Practice gratitude.
“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” Melody Beattie
Gratitude keeps you appreciating what you have, what you have accomplished, how much you have grown, as well as who you have become. Practicing gratitude and being thankful at all times will rekindle your hope during trying times. It will keep you thinking “Things aren’t as bad as they seem” and “I am in a better place today, than I was yesterday.” Develop that outflowing of gratitude by nurturing your spiritual core.
5. Eliminate negative thought patterns.
Sheltering negative thoughts makes it hard to overcome difficulties or accept things as they are. When you focus on “It’s my fault the deal didn’t go through” and “I never get things right”, you give room for self-doubt. Negative thoughts have the power to stop you from working on your goals because they force you to believe you are not good enough and cause you to lose faith in yourself. Therefore, eliminate the negative thoughts that cultivate hopelessness and nourish hopeful thoughts every time things don’t go your way. Place affirmation sayings and positive quotes on your walls – statements that will reinforce a positive outlook and inspiration.
We have often heard that hope is not a strategy but consider this, without hope there is no strategy. Hope gives us the strength to carry on when we are weary and pushes us forward towards our purpose in business, work and life.
Thanks for reading and as always folks take care, be safe and continue becoming the best version of yourself.
Have you ever been inspired by someone who is successful in business? Maybe you want to be like that businessperson. In fact you are so inspired that you want to take action. You say, “This person has moved me,” or “has inspired me.” So what do you do? You make a concerted effort for a short period of time to be like that person. But alas the motivation and inspiration doesn’t last. Why?
Because it is really something that comes from outside of you rather than inside of you. Your inspiration is ‘out there’ so to speak and not ‘grounded’ in you. Only when you inspire yourself because of what you do will motivation stick, and if you continue to act out the behavior you will gain traction or momentum to continue the behavior.
A Business Example.
You have just read an article about the importance of business planning (the importance of working “on” your business and not “in” your business) and the long term benefits you would receive if you developed a business plan. Your inspired! You begin to do it and then after some time of working “on” your business your enthusiasm starts to wane. You start saying to yourself, “Maybe I don’t have to develop that plan – I’m too busy doing stuff.” You begin to procrastinate. Soon you are back to being busy ‘doing’ and not working ‘on’ your business. You find you lack the self-discipline to stay with it. Sound familiar?
Now if you approached it with a different perspective like, “It’s important for me to develop a business plan, not because someone said so, but because I’m convinced it will give my business direction. I am responsible for my own business and a business plan will help me strengthen my focus, set priorities, clarify my personal values and the values for the business and give me a set of actionable goals. In the end I will feel better, sleep more soundly, and improve my lifestyle.” This is not something someone else is telling you. You are affirming it to yourself. You have taken the first step to realizing your goal of working “on” your business and not just working “in” your business.
Once you personally commit to working on your business plan and you actually prepare it, you are reinforcing your ‘non-procrastinating’ behaviour. You start it and bring it to fruition. It is this stick-to-it process that is difficult for most people. The start is the beginning and bringing it to completion is the end. It is what you do in the middle of the start and end where momentum takes place. And it is in the momentum where inspiration and motivation occurs. Your ideas begin to percolate and creativity begins to take hold.
But here is the kicker, if you want your business plan to succeed and not just sit on your shelve or on your computer you must actualize it and make it happen. You must keep the momentum going. And this is often the hardest part.
It is in the actualization of the business plan where you enter the realm of ‘real’ momentum. As you actualize your plan you are moving toward achieving something for yourself. You are inspired and motivated from within - it is you motivating and inspiring yourself not someone or something outside of you. You now want to keep going because you are doing something to reinforce your plan. Not only that as you actualize your plan you begin to see the results of your efforts. So It is not the effort of others that inspires it is your own efforts and results that inspire.
What Happens When You Don't Keep Your Promise
Now let’s look at it from a different perspective. Every time you break a promise to yourself it usually bothers you. It niggles at you and after a while you start doubting yourself and wondering if you can achieve your goals. And if you do this often you let yourself down and your confidence about achieving goals is lessened.
However, when you keep your promise to yourself you strengthen your self-respect and build your confidence and every day that you take action you are gaining momentum and more confidence and self-respect.
As you strengthen your momentum, you are strengthening your stamina, your self-discipline for what you are doing and from that point on it is matter of reinforcing your activity and improving it. After a period of time, let’s say three or four months you will find you have progressed and your results will then inspire you to achieve even more. Your motivation is now forcefully coming from within. And this is the motivation that counts.
You no longer need someone to motivate you. You are using your own progress and achievements and you are inspiring yourself in the process. You have now set a new pattern of behavior, and once that pattern has set you have taken on a new habit – that of self-discipline because you have learned the ‘stick-to-it-ness’ of getting things done.
The Busy Business Person
Now let’s take this scenario and put it into the context of the busy businessperson – the solopreneur. These busy people can easily be juggling many roles in life, not only are they running a business they may also be a parent, a community representative, a member of a business association and a faith community and so on. Added to their roles they have the pressures of making sure they have enough cashflow to meet expenses and make a profit, they find themselves marketing, selling, keeping administrative records and maintaining their own healthy lifestyle and dealing with the anxieties of everyday living.
That’s different than the person who has time on his hands, who has developed a business so that it runs on its own and experiences less pressures in life. This businessperson enjoys life and is satisfied within himself. Isn’t that the paradox of life? He who has is often given more. So the busy businessperson who is not in this situation is going to have to fight for what he believes is necessary and make the commitment to move forward. The word here is ‘commitment’ coupled with daily discipline and reinforcement to achieve the desired outcome.
This is true with whatever we do in life – we need to commit and move forward. It is less about making comparisons with others and more about doing what is necessary on a daily basis for ourselves until we achieve the necessary momentum to make the difference. Then it is a matter of improving the behavior so that we are gradually becoming better versions of ourselves. With each improvement we move towards a more satisfied self in mind, body and spirit.
In conclusion, be responsible and accountable for driving your own inspiration and motivation and build the self-discipline to make it happen. That’s all there is to it. Now is the time to start gaining momentum in all that you do.
By the way if you need help in developing a business plan fill out the contact form below and I will set up an interview with you
As always folks take care, keep safe and continue becoming the best version of yourself.
Thank you for reading,