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In my last blog, I referred to the need to have hope, strategy and action to achieve resilience and wellness and that all three were important. My definition of hope is ‘the mystic of life’.

Since then, many people have asked me how hope can be found in situations that seem, well, hopeless.

My favourite quote about finding hope is ‘when you’re up to your neck in crocodiles, it’s easy to forget that the initial objective was to drain the swamp’ How true! These crocodiles are challenges in relationships, business, families, community and even with yourself.

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Hope is more than positivity and optimism. When you’re hopeful you get used to feeling happy, but not satisfied. That’s the nature of hope – it’s more than optimism, it’s a defiant need to make change through achieving dreams and ambitions.

How can I find hope?

Answer these questions:

What do you value? What are your values, goals and beliefs? Do you believe in yourself and your capacity to deal positively with life? If yes, great. If not, seek support from other people.

What are the values that you hold true in your life? Understand who you are and let the goals and behaviours be shaped by them. From the people I have worked with an observed, I have concluded that those who set goals based around their personal values, have hope.

Do you believe that you are driven by life or that you drive life?

One of my values is persistence – to never give up on something that I value or I believe in. Ok, it’s got me into trouble at times, but it’s given me the hope that I can rise to the challenges that life will continue to throw at me.

Plan your attack: Once you’ve established your values, think about the action required to include them into your life.

What action are you taking? What is your focus? Are you focusing on stuff that you can or can’t control?

While the overall situation may be daunting, there may be elements of a situation that you can successfully deal with. How do you eat an elephant? – in small bites.

Break stuff down into small parts and work on the areas that you can positively influence. Take small steps – when you hit a snag, learn the lesson and try something different – at least you’ll know what wont work.

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Control what you surround yourself with: What influences your world? What are you listening to? What are you reading?

I’ll give you a little secret – I hardly read the news anymore. I have made a decision that I don’t want to know about all the bad things in this world. I download newspapers and scan headlines – if anything interest me, I dig deeper. You know what? – very rarely do I dig deeper. I don’t need to surround myself with all the bad news of the world. I would prefer to read selected articles about things and people who inspire me and raise me up.

What factors are influencing you in your life and can you change them?

Who are you surrounding yourself with? Who are your supporters? Are the people that you connect with the type of people who inspire you and lift you up or are they people who bring you down?

Seek out and interact with winners. If there are some people who are in your life that bring you down and for some reason will always be there, tolerate them, listen to them, respect them as individuals but don’t be influenced by them. Find your tribe!

What are your dreams? Do you have them? Are they big or small? I used to dream small. I was in survival mode. Each day was a challenge. Now I dream big.

I am inspired by so many people who I work with – by the types pf people are who reading this blog. I dream of helping people achieve their potential. I dream of sharing the lessons I’ve learnt so they can benefit from them. I dream of running Pathways to Purpose retreats all around the world – in Bali, Vietnam, The Americas. I am in thrive mode and I have enormous hope that I can achieve these dreams, – it will be hard and we will face challenges, but the dream and goal is worth it. Dream big!

What is your personal mantra? What does your inner voice say to you? Do you think you are good enough? Do you think you can achieve what you set out to achieve? What is your saying that reflects your relationship with this world?

Here are two that I quite like and were given to me in my journey ‘Tough times don’t last, but tough people do’ and ‘What doesn’t kill us only makes us stronger’.

I have this inspirational client who even in the depths of despair will say to me ‘Dennis, it will be OK’ – and you know what? – it typically is. Develop your own mantra and stick it on your mirror, next to your bed, make it a screen saver – to constantly reinforce that you are good enough, you do belong, and you will strive and thrive. Self-belief gives hope.

Life is full of disappointments – accept it. You can’t control every situation and circumstance. This doesn’t mean you are unworthy. Hope sometimes is about letting go of the disappointments, accepting them for what they are and the emotions that they bring with it. Hope for a better life heals these disappointments and ultimately leads you to a better life. Let hope lead!

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Do you believe? I wanted to finish off this blog where I started. Do you believe? Do you believe that everything happens for a purpose and what is happening to you today is exactly what should be happening to you it’s all is perfect harmony? Do you believe tomorrow will be better than today? Do you believe you are making as much use of your resources as you possibility can? Do you believe that little gains will achieve bigger wins?

In summary, clarify your values and use these to determine goals, behaviours and surround yourself with your tribe to build hope.

Pathways to Purpose - Recharge • Recalibrate • Refocus

If your personal development is a priority for you in 2015, consider our Pathways to Purpose retreats in Bali.  Experience the skill of our expert trainers as they walk you through a unique 7 day, 6 night journey in an exclusive Northern Bali Villa.  Through group workshops, one-on-one sessions, yoga, meditation and more, you’ll develop the skills and capacity to lead the life you want.  Find out more here or call us on 1300 365 119.