Superheroes are part of current popular culture. Super human strength, agility, and speed quicker than lightning save cities or planets. Right and might both outwit and outlast villains every time. I like to think of hope as its own superpower. It is its own light in the dark night. Hope calms the inner storm. Hope saves. There are days it takes a beating, but it is never snuffed out. It always resurfaces stronger and brighter. It is also transferable from one person to another which makes it even more powerful. I wish hope could be embodied in some type of physical form where we could call out for it and see it leaping over obstacles in a single bound and knocking out the bad guy. It sure would make life easier. We must do our best to take on that persona ourselves. Superheroes are good examples of what it means to adopt a hopeful lifestyle.
When we live hopefully, we become those superheroes.
Hope by definition doesn’t make you feel doomed. It provides strength and wipes out fear. Hope moves forward. Hope is a Stage V quality. Throw resiliency and toughness in there as Stage V qualities as well. One on its own creates a reaction. The reaction is greater when several of these qualities are combined. Stage V is also a superpower worthy to make a stand against villainous cancer.
Adam Sicinski is a life coach, founder of IQ Matrix in 2009, and has developed over 350 self-growth mind maps. I honestly can’t gush enough about these mind maps. One of his points in “How To Nurture Hope When Life Starts Getting Really Tough” is that hope can’t come and go from a person’s life as the need arises for it. Instead, hope is a lifestyle. Hope becomes an integral part of each day. It requires trust and faith in yourself that you can get through tough times and follow through with your actions and plans. He writes when you nurture hope you lessen doubt, anxiety, and stress which alleviates some of the uncertainty while facing these emotions. In turn, your levels of belief rise and you can act in a more positive way despite whatever trouble you face.
Pessimistic thoughts must give way to a sense of certainty. Hope becomes more proactive this way rather than a passive act. More of Adam Sicinski’s ideas follow as to what it means to be a hopeful person.
Living hopefully means . . .
- You are grateful for the life you have. Even though you are living with gratitude, it does not limit you from seeking out a better life.
- You want to make things better and look for ways to make your life better. Actions and opportunities pave the way step by step.
- You will always do your best to make the most of every situation.
- Every experience has some value. You remain hopeful that things will turn out in your favor.
- No matter what happens, you maintain a positive outlook.
- Living in the now. This means that by making the most of today, you increase your chances of making the future you want a reality.
- You do more than just hope things work out. You work to make it so. Sometimes this means building on past successes and learning from what has happened. Mistakes can be helpful.
- Living generously. Giving to others often provides a better understanding about your own personal struggles while allowing you to grow toward where you want to be.
- Looking for opportunities where others can help. You can’t do it all on your own.
- Ridding yourself of worry and regret. It breeds anxiety, stress, and hopeless thoughts.
- Surround yourself with positive people. These are not perfect people, but people with a sense of purpose who work through challenges as cheerfully as possible with attitudes that keep them moving forward.
This last idea is really important for me because positive people seem to have many of the other qualities needed for living hopefully already present. We gravitate toward one another and conversations about positivity and hope unfold naturally. I need to surround myself with these people as someone living with cancer. I also need to continue being the person living hopefully.
I also like that Sicinski doesn’t say that nurturing hope means nothing ever goes wrong. A perfect life isn’t realistic. Each of us has a choice as to how we respond to life’s challenges. When mistakes are made or unexpected circumstances are encountered, those who nurture hope will likely see these experiences as opportunities for growth. I think there are many similarities in hope as a lifestyle and being resilient.
A lifestyle that embraces hope involves gratitude, trust, positivity, happiness, and belief. Nurturing hope causes you to reflect a lot on your life and draw upon strengths and resources. These shifts in thoughts and lifestyle apply to anyone who wants to live with a mindset geared toward hope. Hope as a lifestyle also correlates positively with a Stage V lifestyle.
One of my most hopeful times of day is in the predawn of the morning. I’m still in bed, relishing that state of bliss between sleep and awake. It is quiet. In the summer, I can hear birds chirping melodically. When it’s winter, the gentle sound of the furnace is comforting. I feel refreshed and have the whole day stretching out before me. Anything can happen. I like to think about how I see my day unwinding and set a positive intention. Often I just appreciate the stillness and let myself be. Now, I understand mornings aren’t everyone’s best time, but I’m betting you can identify a time of day where you have an abundance of hopeful energy. Maybe it’s during your morning coffee or tea. Maybe you find it while out for a run. It could be much later in the day when you’re driving home from work. The point is to give yourself some time every day to be intentionally hopeful. It takes only a few moments to let gentle hopeful feelings and reminders have a positive impact.
May the coming new year offer many opportunities for living hopefully.
What are you hoping for this year? What plans have you made to help turn your hopes into something real?