“May your choices reflect hope, not fears.”
– Nelson Mandela
I can think of many a time when I have hesitated and made a decision out of fear. I think we have all done that because we want the easy way out, not wanting to change the status quo or confront the unknown. I have found that it doesn’t really solve much other than postponing the decision. Hope, on the other hand, has given me the feeling of expectation, eternal optimism, of a better life where dreams come true.
Hope as a psychological phenomenon is one way of the heart saying to us that we can get out of the difficult situation by projecting the mind to come up with a better outcome. Hope is the optimism that we feel to get us through a sticky situation.
The point here is that when I haven’t seen a way out of a situation or circumstances of ever-downward spiralling thoughts and emotions, I have had to dig deep inside me to find that little voice in my head, and in my heart, that I have the ability, determination, strength, hope, courage, resilience, self-love and intuition to make it happen. The feeling that it is going to be much better there than where I am now. It is hope that keeps me moving forward, a step at a time.
This was most evident when I suddenly had to leave the job that I had loved in my career at the airport; I was good at what I did and suddenly my world came crashing down. It was hope that drove me to dig deep inside me and come up with a solution: to join forces with a business contact in an HR consultancy business. I had never imagined that I would ever be leaving the airport the way I left – but that’s life. It was a tough time and perhaps more stressful in some ways even than leaving Uganda. I am eternally hopeful and to be honest, it has always been hope that has looked after me.
Hope has been an overriding factor in most people’s lives; it gives us that warm feeling about good outcomes from our actions, dreams and ambitions. Faith in it happening goes hand in hand with hope. Never has that been truer than in these unusual times of 2020 and 2021, when the world has stood still in so many ways.
We as human beings have had to sit up and take notice of something much more powerful than us, controlling our lives. While we have had to totally change our behaviour and thinking about the earth, our environment, our freedom and everything about how we live our lives, hope and faith are two things that have kept us going, dreaming and expecting to emerge into a better world. A classic example of this, as I write, is the world changing as the US election results were announced on 7 November 2020; people around the world once more saw hope not just for the US but for the whole world.
When I look back at Mum and me, over the years, including when we were in Uganda, I know that hope and faith kept us moving. Hope of knowing, feeling the ambition rising in me that I deserved better than this. I knew I could make it happen and that I would be supported. Hope and faith have always been the supporters of my dreams and my ambitions. Although I never defined what was driving me through tough times, it was that eternal optimism and hope, mixed with my stubbornness, that I would succeed.
In recent years, understanding more about myself and the way things work for me when focus on the outcomes, and most of all, the faith in knowing that I’m being supported, has seen me through. I accept the fact that sometimes it’s not a straight line to achieving a good outcome; more often than not, it’s a bit of a zigzag path to my destinations, but hey, I get there. That’s all that Matters.
Have you noticed how once you decide to take action, no matter how small it is, things fall in place? Have you also noticed that people and events appear to make it happen? The right people in the right place at the right time. Have you also noticed that procrastination or the thought of tackling something difficult or unknown is in effect more stressful than actually doing it? It’s not that bad at all once you take a deep breath and go for it.
This has been my experience every time. I think of the times when I wanted to go for a new job or had to say something difficult to someone. It’s made me realise that our mind often works as the prohibitor, the mischief-maker in the scenario when the little voice in your heart and soul is just saying that it’s OK, keep going. I no longer listen to the mind, just the heart. My intuition, hope and faith are the drivers.