Hope is crucial to our survival and well being. It is a psychological need in humankind that requires fulfillment in order to feel satisfied with life. There are 4 things you can do to get hope back, sustain it, and never lose it.
1) Keep Perspective
It is important to always think about the big picture. Yes, things can get bad and yes, you can be depressed and unsatisfied with your life, but things will inevitably get better. Reminding yourself of all the positive things in your life and what you are grateful for will help you keep perspective on your current situation. There are so many good things in life and looking outside your current situation will help you get perspective on your life's direction and help establish what you will be hopeful for in the future. Most often, our problems are small in comparison to the bigger picture in life. We are able to hope for a better, more satisfying life if we just get clarity on what we want our life to look like.
Another way to keep perspective is to remember all your successes! There are loads of things you've done right in your life, things you are proud of, and things you've accomplished. You just need to remember them.
2) Have a Plan
You need a vision and a plan for what you want your life to look like. Do you want to be rich? Marry the love of your life? Start a family? Help others in need? What is it YOU want out of life if you could have anything? Nothing is off the table if you believe you can achieve it...even if it's a crazy far-fetched idea!
If you believe you can make your hopes and dreams come true it will happen, but you need a clear plan. What steps can you make today to move yourself towards the life you want? Get clear with your goals/hopes and choose options that will direct you onto a better path so your goals will eventually be fulfilled.
3) Stay Persistent
You will only achieve your dreams if you stay persistent with it. I can't tell you how many times I've thought about giving up on veterinary medicine because I doubted myself and my abilities, but I stuck with it no matter how I was feeling and gave it my all. You need to keep in mind your end goal so you never lose sight of hope of a better life and what is to come.
Rome wasn't built in one day. This is true in life and accomplishing goals as well. It took me 10 years to achieve my hope/dream of becoming a vet. I knew very early on I wanted to help animals, so really it was probably more like 20 years before I reached my goal of becoming a veterinarian. It took me 4 years to complete an undergrad, 1 year abroad, 1 year of a Masters, and 4 years of vet school to get where I am today. If I wasn't patient and persistent, with a clear goal in mind, and the hope that I would one day live my dream, I'd never have become a vet. I am where I am today because I was patient and persistent. Whatever your goals are in life, if you are patient and keep plugging away in the right direction you will eventually reach the end point. It's all up to you!
Hope is humanity's way of never giving up and succumbing to dark times in our lives. We look towards the light and see the silver lining to get through the tough times and come out the other side stronger and more capable than before. If you have lost your hope, think about what you've always wanted out of life, write it down, and know that your dreams are WORTH the fight! Get real with yourself about what you want, get some perspective outside your current situation, make a plan, and stay persistent and patient. You will never lose your hope and will move yourself towards the life you've always wanted!