On the subject of hope, civil rights hero Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” This would suggest to me that life will surly deal us all plenty of opportunities to embraced the darkness of hopelessness, but we have to learn to dig deeper to lay hold of an expectation that we are always progressing.
Without this trait, we run the risk of be swallowed whole by the monster of despair.
As a coach I spend a great deal of time empowering clients and sharing the revelation that we are only one decision away from a radical life revolution at any time. That alone in its purest form is a sense of hope. And hope can be a fickled ideal to comprehend. At its root lies the concept that no matter the circumstance, as long as you are alive you can access better days. How many times have you or someone close to you mentioned a situation was “hopeless”? Too many to count perhaps? The reality is as long as we are aware that failure is never final we can employ potential. Potential that is embraced and owned grows into hope.
In Latin, “hope” comes from the word “Spero”. It means a desire that produces a strong expectation. How powerful is that? Talk about a fixed fight. As you get into the throws of a challenge, the anchor for your emotions and mind is strong expectation that you will emerge victorious. That is what keeps you sane during times when you could lose it all!
You may be experiencing some tough times now. And through it have felt a bit hopeless. I want to share a few key indicators your hope may be slipping:
• You become consumed with cynicism:
The funny thing is cynicism is the ugly twin of bitterness. While bitterness eats you from within, cynicism is the external poison that spills on anything and anyone close to you on the outside. We have all dealt with the co-worker or close friend who spends most of their time complaining and judging. All the while never realizing that it is their own toxic attitude contributing to their demise. If bitterness is the infection, cynicism is the outward symptoms.
• You begin to suffer physically:
This is a big one. I always wonder when we will finally get the fact that whatever is happening inside us will manifest in a physical way. Tons of studies have been documented to prove that angry emotions like unforgiveness, jealousy, hatred and the likes shave considerable years from our lives. There is even a bible verse pinned by King Solomon in the book commonly known as the Wisdom Writings, Proverbs that says; Hope deferred will make your heart sick. You simply can’t afford these types of emotions to take resident in your life. If you do, know that your body will bear the marks of its presence.
• Your passions will be abandoned:
The spark of purpose brings joy to even the most mundane tasks. That’s why some people struggle more in challenges than others. For some, a hard week is just evidence they are stepping out of their comfort zones and into purpose. But to others, it is seen as a sign its time to throw in the towel. Its all judged through the lens of “passion”. Passion means I can endure anything that is on the path I am traveling toward my purpose. I may get knocked down, but I am never considered out.
We all have those moments of uncertainty. The times where we can visibly see the fork in the road. One side leading to our destiny and the other leading us to quit. Those defining moments are what defines who we really are. Maybe in the past you leaned more towards quitting. First, don’t be so hard on yourself. We all have been there. And next, go over the list I shared and do an inventory of your life. Check all the areas so you can build up a tolerance for the pain and a strong expectation that no matter what’s going on now, you still have a bright future ahead of you.