Seek hope

Hi everyone,

First I want to apologise, it’s been a long time since my last post.

Over the past several months I have relocated to a new country and the transition has been hard at times. There have been high points but these have been far exceeded by low points when I have hit the bottom of despair and felt like I could not carry on. Through these times there has been someone who has been my angel who has told me not to give up and remain positive. My wife.

Reflecting back on the low points I find that hope had abandoned me and that there was little point pushing forward. However, I could still see glints of hope breaking through the black, heavy clouds of despair. My angel was also by my side encouraging me to keep going.

When I had things to hope for, I was fine. But then those things would be taken away and I would find myself back in the downward spiral. I was tired of pushing forward when there was nothing to hope for. Looking to the horizon for something, anything that could give me hope,  I would, at times find something and then I realised things aren’t as bad as they seem.

From the past half year I have learned that one needs hope. Without hope, there is nothing to strive for, nothing to look forward to. When my wife was telling me to remain positive, I replied that at times it’s hard to do so when things weren’t happening the way I imagined they would. Yet she was the rock that kept me anchored. My focus was on the things that weren’t happening rather than on the things that were happening. When someone is in the grips of despair and hopelessness, their focus emphasises the negative and ignores the positive. The opposite happens when you are feeling great and have hope.

I have also realised that things don’t happen the way you expect them to. Life loves to through “curve balls” at you. It’s how you deal with those balls that determines if you’re going to win or lose the game. At times I found I punted them and other times I hit them out of the park. You also need to hit the balls out of the park and win the game.

When it seems that hope has abandoned you and there is little reason to move forward, seek out something to hope for and make your way towards it.

 

 

 

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Maximise the minimum

Hey everyone!

Look around you. What do you mainly see? Usually people in a hurry. People slogging at work day after day, trying to keep up with the demands of society. Trying to “get ahead”. But get ahead of what? Usually it is ahead of everyone else. But everyone else is in the same boat! Talk about a ridiculous situation!

Why do we have to worry about “keeping up with the Joneses?” Who are these Jones’ people anyway? I have never personally met them, but I have met people that are trying to keep up with them! These people are always needing to have the latest of everything. Just so that they can boast about how they have this and that. But guess what? The infamous Jones clan just bought a brand new “watcha-me-callit”. Now you are sad, because you need to have one of those too! The one that you bought 6 months ago, just doesn’t cut it anymore. The one the Joneses just bought has a shiny new “doo-dad” on it! It cost them a fortune! Now you are going to go into debt, because you want to keep up with these guys! You can’t afford too, but you have too! There is one thing i have to say, and that is stop being stupid!!

Why do we always feel like we have to have the newest, latest gadget? It is becuase the advertising gurus make us feel like our life is unfulfilled if we don’t have it! Look at the people in that ad about the new smartphone that has just landed in the stores. Don’t they look happy! You could be happy too, if you only had that phone! We live in a consumerist society, where our happiness is dictated by what we have or don’t have! That is wrong!!

There is a concept in psychology that is called “social comparison”. We look at others to determine whether we should be satisfied with what we have or don’t have. The Joneses have everything, and we use that as the yardstick for our lives. We realise that we don’t have all the things that those Jones folk have and we feel sad and unfulfilled in life. But then we look at someone who is unemployed, struggling to make ends meet and we discover that we aren’t as bad off as we thought. What happened to change your mindset? You just looked at two social extremes that influenced how satisfied you are with your lot in life.

Do not try and keep up with the Joneses. After all, do you think they are truly happy? Why do they always have to have the best of everything? Maybe there is some implicit insecurity issues that Mr. and Mrs Jones are suffering from! Look at what you have. Be satisfied with it. Do not try and compare yourself with others. Just be happy with your lot in life, if you feel like it’s not sufficient, then look within yourself as to why you feel that way. You may not have the best phone, the best house, the best clothes. But you might have the best life when you compare it to those you are busy trying to seek fulfillment in a materialistic, consumerist society.

Be happy with the little that you have. Enjoy it. Be thankful for the things that you have. Be thankful for the intangibles in your life: your health, your well-being, your happiness, your peace.

Be satisfied with the things that you have and cease looking at the things you don’t have.