These are tough times. Not only are we dealing with a pandemic, but also racial tension, and political chaos.  Look at any research, the number may be different based on what the study is looking at but, you will see that mental health issues are on the rise in our country. Even people who have never reported struggling with stress, anxiety, or depression, are now recognizing they are being affected by the things going on around us.

Many people simply feel out of control, and rightfully so. We are not in control of how the pandemic, racial tension, of politics go.  Sure, we are in control of our sphere of influence. We practice the 3 W’s (Wear a mask, Wash your hands, and Wait 6 feet apart), we are kind to everyone, and we voted. Some people have gone even further, volunteering with organizations that work with these issues. We are doing our best to be good citizens and neighbors.  However, the bigger picture is beyond our grasp. This is where many people get frustrated.

The truth is:

  • We cannot change the past. Good, bad, or indifferent – it is what it was.
  • There is only so much we can do in the present.  Most of us aren’t in positions where the major decisions are being made.
  • We must look positively to the future. There is always hope for a brighter tomorrow.

So, how do you do what you can with what you have, in the present, and then look to the future?

One option is to envision the future you want and take steps towards that goal.  Most likely, the future won’t magically be how you desire it.  You have to start doing things now that will affect your future. What do you want to be doing five years from now?  How will you make that happen?  You can even start smaller than that. This is January 2021.  What do you want January 2022 to look like for you?  Maybe you are so fed up with the way things are in our country right now, you want to be a person who brings about positive change. Awesome! What steps do you need to make this year to be in that position next year?

Being hopeful for the future is about believing in a better future and taking action.  Sure, we can hope for better things, but if we don’t take action to make them happen, then we are giving up any control we have over the future and allowing it to be in the hands of someone else, whose desire for the future may not be the same as ours.

Hope: envision, believe, take action.

Other ways to look at it

H.O.P.E. = Have Only Positive Expectations

H.O.P.E. = Hold On, Peace Exists