How to Re-Energize HopeTweet
It's easy to feel hopeful when everything is going our way. There's a reason we relate to the adage: "when the going gets tough, the tough get going". But, just how do we do that?
The Power to Choose
I woke early. The pain in my spine and legs had made deep sleep impossible -- again.
"I'm still here."
It was the first thought to enter my mind -- before any conscious processing could take place.
This was not a grateful, hopeful declaration. It was a deep sigh. My first waking thought: a toxic cocktail of dread, futility, pain and pervasive fatigue.
Don't get me wrong. I hadn't tried deliberately to do anything to no longer 'be here'. I was just weary. The pain was chronic. Often severe. It permeated my every movement, every effort, and even my ability to rest or sleep. Some days (and nights) the weight of it was just too heavy. This had been one of them.
I knew what was ahead.
More of the same.
It hadn't been days of this. Or weeks. Not even months. It was already years. Every day. Having to start all over.
While the chance to start over each day is often regarded as a great thing -- this wasn't like that. This was hard. Grinding. Relentless.
I'm glad to say that doesn't happen too often any more. That feeling of dread, before consciousness. Even back then, I'd kick it quickly. Gratitude practices, a strong sense of purpose, and sheer grit got me through the day. But that waking moment was telltale.
Today, my first thought is more often "Thank you. Let's do this."
It helps tremendously that I no longer suffer like I did for a stretch of about 7 years. I am truly blessed. Most days I'm pretty good. A lot of days I'm awesome. Sometimes, I suffer again. It makes me even more grateful and deliberate.
I love that the first question most people ask me now, when they see me, is not: "How's your back?"
Instead, they actually ask about 'me' -- how I am. I love that. It reminds me that I am not my back, I am not my body, I am not my condition or my struggles, whatever they may be. None of us are. We are also not our work. Not our job. Not any of our roles or responsibilities. We are so much more...
So I remember to live and lead that way. It's a choice.
And, that's what I want to share with you today.
There was a day, a few years ago -- a significant turning point -- when I found hope. Inside-out hope.
In other words, hope that had no external source, event, person or change attached to it. Because of that, it wasn't temporary, conditional or fake. Nothing had changed. But everything shifted. I discovered how to re-energize hope. It makes coping in a turbulent world so much more possible.
I actually felt and lived these powerful words by Christopher Reeve. I also learned how we can turn this thought into reality. Over and over again.
I discovered how to re-energize hope -- a practical approach in a turbulent world.
Every so often I need a refresher. I find my attitude slipping. It gets compounded by the attitudes of others. Maybe it's just 'my corner of the world'. Economic conditions, world events and crises insidiously turn conversations from hope to fear. From gratitude to cynicism.
I was in the dentist's chair a while ago. I was 'trapped' as the hygenist went on and on. The stream of negative perspective unlocked my own lurking fears, stresses, disappointments and struggles. I could feel a ball of revulsion rise up from my stomach, grip and squeeze the joy out of my heart, and choke the hope from me.
It was as if Pandora's box had been pried open. I couldn't shake it. I started to believe all the 'awfulizing'. After all, there's evidence of it everywhere. The loss of hope is a slippery slope and I was about to snowboard it!
A Practical Approach in a Turbulent World
A few days later, I awoke with renewed resolve.
I remembered this Zig Ziglar quote:
I don't think of 'powerful' as coming from the outside-in. I think of it more so as being empowered and empowering. Powering up ourselves and others from the inside-out -- so we can make a difference. Live more joyfully. Be more productive. Energize potential.
How? We need to talk hope, not trash. Practice it, deliberately. 4 practices below that are truly empowerment in action. How to re-energize hope -- in ourselves, with others and for the world. click to tweet
Click here to view/share this infographic by itself.
The practice is quite simple. It does take a bit of work, though. Concerted effort. Commitment and solid attitude.
Each moment is a chance to re-engage. It's an opportunity to get stronger and more skilled at how to re-energize hope. It's a fresh start.
This practice works.
Try it. You'll go from a sigh to fresh sight. That is, from sighs of dread to sights of promise -- and possibility! It's how to
Hope takes work; often when it's hardest to muster the strength and courage to do it. My years of chronic pain were an amazing teacher. More than anything, I learned this: fuel your mind and spirit with thoughts that make you stronger. Fill your days with actions that give you a sense of joy and purpose. Become "joy-fuel." Do it for you. Do it for those you care about and who count on you. Do it for the world, too. We need more 'HOPE'-ful people.
Want a more serene you? I love Steven Webb's work. Unlike my story, Steven's condition is permanent. Paralyzed from the chest down, he's got every reason to wallow. Instead, he's grounded. Inspiring. Energizing. Check out his work and see if you'd like to join the ranks of the fortunate community that benefit from his guidance. Steven Webb, Your Inner Peace Guide.
'Are you living 'ON PURPOSE?' Have you experienced the life-saving and quality-of-life-enhancing effect that clear purpose has? The clearer we are, the more resilient, empowered and empowering we become. The online program: LIVE & LEAD 'ON PURPOSE' helps us do just that. Get clear. Stay focused. Make a difference. Enjoy the short intro video. Just click on either the program title (above) or the image here beside.
Challenged. Empowered. Energized. A better you, for a better world.
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