“Be hopeful, be optimistic. Never lose that sense of hope.” – John Lewis
The Need For More
As the holiday season comes around, many of us will look forward to sharing time with family despite the pandemic that has changed how we interact. However, the retail industry will be anticipating making up for the lock down period with higher profits. It means sales and over the top marketing strategies all aimed at increased sales. They will appeal to our appetite for more with words and phrases such as, “clearance,” “for a limited time only,” “once it’s gone, it’s gone,” to draw us to make purchases. By showing us what we need to make our lives better, we will fall into the trap of wanting more. Once marketers bombard us with information on the newest product and our desires are set on fire, we look for a way to own what we never planned on. With that in mind, how can our lives be full, with less?
This month, the blog series, “Full in the Right Areas” will dig in to answer the question using three topics below as markers:
1. Hopeful (November 5th)
2. Peaceful (November 12th)
3. Grateful (November 19th)
(No blog post on November 26, Thanksgiving day).
We will kick off the month by being hopeful.
What’s in the Well, Shows in the Pail
From the well of the heart, desires influence our lives. A heart that can store hope equates to a life that can remain optimistic in most dire straits. I believe that hope has a double benefit. First, it gives us the gift of contentment and helps us avoid the snare of instant gratification that is prevalent in our world. I believe discontentment is tied to a lack of hope. And it wreaks havoc on our financial and even emotional well-being. When we are hopeful, we are willing to wait as long as necessary for the right time, no matter how enticing the deal of the moment.
Hope also tempers anxiety that comes from missing out on what everyone else insists we need to have now. The current credit card debt is largely attributed to instant gratification and the avoidance of anxiety that springs out of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). FOMO repeatedly sifts our hope replacing it with worry, fear, and desperation. Our hijacked desires turn life into an escape room, and the only way out is to get what we want now.
Shifting to Something Better
With hope, we can have JOMO (Joy Of Missing Out). We don’t have to succumb to the daily pressures of instant gratification that fill the screens of our devices and infiltrate our heart’s desires. We can keep the well of our hearts free from the impurities of anxiety, fear, and worry. In doing so, our lives can reflect hope as well as patience. Patience cannot exist where hope is absent. Our willingness to be patient goes to show that we are hopeful. Impatience is driven by hopelessness. As the ink of patience and contentment writes our future, the book of our lives is told through the theme of hope.
Expansion Through Hope
Our lives shrink or expand in direct proportion to our hope. Hopeful people tend to be more generous, inclined to serve others, and have a disposition of optimism attached to their walk and talk. Hopelessness on the other hand breeds selfishness. Life becomes a game of survival for the fittest. In such a landscape, buoyancy in difficult times is virtually impossible.
Hope drives positive action in environments that are not ideal for human progress. In science, buoyancy is the ability of an object to stay afloat no matter how torrent the water or liquid it is placed. Buoyancy in life is the ability of a person to remain afloat or maintain a positive disposition in circumstance rife with distress and despair. The sandbag of hope will prevent the floods of life from sweeping away your vision, goals, and dreams. It will keep you living and going when your circumstances urge you to lay down and quit.
Final Thought: As you venture into the holiday season, your desires will be supercharged with marketing intended to steer you into FOMO and the need to satisfy your instant gratification wiring. Being hopeful will give you a sense of contentment, anchor you to patience, and help you stay buoyant in the choppy waters of life.
Keep on keeping on.