Monday, July 31, 2006

Good Read on a Sunday Morning

I 'm saving this article for the rainy days...


Hope floats

JUST BETWEEN YOU & ME By Jacquilou Blanco
The Philippine STAR 07/30/2006


With so much happening around the world, it’s difficult not to lose hope. It’s like nothing seems to be going right anymore. I myself am "down-hearted." One can’t help but feel desperate.

But then, if we are to give in to these feelings, what will be left of us? I’d like to believe we are stronger than all of these.

Inspired by the book Little Book of Hope by Paul Wilson, I’ve decided to give you insights about hope. Hope is something we should never be without. Hope is what will make the difference, the ray of light in our world.

Hope heals.
One of the discoveries of modern medicine is that the more optimistic you are, the greater your chances of maintaining or improving health. Indeed, many prominent specialists insist that the greatest indicator of wellness and longevity is the simple belief that you will be well and live a long time.

Double the pleasure.
In doing good for others, you derive a dual benefit. First, any act of altruism is its own reward, because selfless acts help you to feel hopeful and optimistic. Second, the memories that induce the most positive feelings are invariably of things done out of love or generosity.

See what no one else has made.
It is worth looking closely at anything not man-made – the curve of a mountain, the flow of a stream or the endlessness of the heavens.

This will reveal not only the splendor of the Creator, but the peace and contentment of the viewer. It may also reveal that you are not alone in the world.

Try the other path.
If you conclude that you’ve been heading down the wrong path in your journey through life, and despair because you’ve waited so long to change direction, consider this: a different path means a fresh start, with no baggage, and with the potential of something magical waiting for you somewhere just around the next corner.

Decide to be hopeful.
Abraham Lincoln said that a man is about as happy as he makes up his mind to be. So, too, with hope: you’re about as hopeful as you make up your mind to be. And your future has about as much to offer as you make up your mind to allow it to have.

Carry a notebook.
Every day you encounter dozens of thoughts and experiences that give you hope, satisfaction and reason for living. Then, all too often, you forget them at the first sign of a setback. Carry a notebook. Write them down. You’ll have a record of your inspiration that you can refer to in times of need.

Move on.
There will be times when aspects of your life appear to run off the rails. There will be mistakes, calamities, transgressions, but the beauty of life is that there is always another chance. You can make a fresh start any moment you choose. As Mary Pickford once said: "This thing we call failure is not the falling down but the staying down."

Take the good with the bad.
Few things in life are inherently good or bad. They change according to when they occur, who is viewing them, and how they are viewed. Releasing this can be the key to finding hope in even the most difficult situations. Often you will find it productive to try to see another perspective on events in your life.

Tell yourself there’s hope.
When you tell yourself there is so much to live for, that life gets happier and more fulfilling as it unfolds, you are well on your way to discovering these qualities for yourself. Why? Because the words you use, like the thoughts you have, powerfully influence your beliefs.

Remember the man in Red.
There was a time when your life had meaning and certainty. Then, you never stopped to question whether or not life was infused with hope. To bring back that feeling now, recall those moments when you wrote letters to Santa Claus. Remember how hopefully you felt.

Remove happiness from your goal.
Most people see happiness as a goal or objective in life. This is a sure way not to achieve it. Happiness is not a goal, it is a process. It is a decision, a conscious choice for the present. Decide to be happy – now – and the process has already begun.

Do you see what they see?
The difference between a problem and an opportunity is attitude: Losers see the problem, where as winners work at seeing the opportunity. Yes, they work at it. Being able to see the opportunity rather than the problem sometimes takes persistence and discipline, but rewards are vast.

Cut yourself some slack.
We often add pressure to our day by aiming for artificial standards that we can never hope to meet.

Much can be said for having high standards, but you need a sense of being able to accomplish them. Sometimes this might mean relaxing them – just a little – so that they remain within reach.

Take pleasure in an empty bowl.
There’s an old Zen saying: Only an empty bowl can be filled. It means that the moment you think you have nothing left is the moment when growth and progress become inevitable. Every time you see an empty bowl, think of the potential.

Albert Einstein said: "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as if everything is. I believe in the latter."

Helen Keller said: "Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence. For me, hope is what I see when I look into my children’s eyes. They give me hope. They make me have hope each and every day of my life. How can I lose hope after looking into their eyes?"

Hope is the light in a dark room.
It is what makes us look forward to each and every morning. It is having a bad day and knowing the next will be better. Like what Helen Keller said, nothing can be done without hope and confidence.

And I believe it is what will make the difference in ours.

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