There was a time in life when I had lost all hope. I endured failure on many fronts in a short period, causing an immense amount of pain. I had failed in marriage, business, and in life in general. I thought it signaled the beginning of the end. And I just didn't feel like going on.
Then, something happened inside of me. There was a glimmer of hope -- a small flame that needed to be fanned. Walking through the pain of defeat and failure was heart-wrenching. But it was also the bedrock to something far more important in life.
Anytime we suffer immense amounts of failure and defeat, we lose much of the hope we gathered up over time. Like willpower, hope is easily drained and depleted. When all you can do is worry, stress, and contemplate your greatest fears after a major failure, it's easy to lose all hope.
However, what I came to eventually realize was that all hope wasn't lost. Those failures were a sign of life -- they indicated progress, not perfection. I was moving in the right direction, even though I was falling down with virtually every misstep.
If you've suffered through some major calamities and strife recently, and you feel like all hope is lost, it isn't. Those situations are setting you up for a life far greater and brighter. It might not seem like it now, but over time, the truth will be illuminated.
Yet, the question remains, what happens when it seems like your whole world is collapsing all around you? How do you keep the hope alive now, and not just bank on it being restored at some later point in the future?
There are, in fact, five simple and straightforward methods for not losing all hope.
#1 -- Reassess the Situation
Life is very much like a camera's lens: What we choose to focus on becomes clearer and more real to us. Focus on the negative, and we see just that. But, when the focus shifts to positivity, more good things are seen. We reap what we sow, as the saying goes.
If you've lost hope due to some major failure in life, then it's time to reassess the situation. The first thing to understand is that some of the most successful people have failed many times at first.
But, I'm not just talking about monetary success. Success can be achieved in all areas of our lives as long as we don't give up. The biggest hurdle is allowing yourself the opportunity to fail in a big way, and not letting it stop your overall quest.
Simply put, life is about the journey, and not about the destination. Reassess your goals to determine just what you wanted out of life and why you wanted it. If your reasons are strong and deep-rooted enough, then you won't let failure stop you. You'll keep going.
#2 -- Fill Your Heart with Gratitude
I know that this might sound corny or cheesy at first. But, there's something to be said about appreciating what we have rather than longing for what we don't have. Again, the mind reaps what it sows. Focus on gratitude, and watch as your life transforms before your very eyes and your hope is renewed.
There are people in this world that are struggling in the midst of tyrannical regimes, famine, war, poverty, oppression, and a variety of disabilities. When we actually count up all of the good things we have going for us, we can transform that lack of hope into a state of gratitude.
Even if you feel like you have nothing to be grateful for, it's your duty to list out the things that you are grateful for. Maybe it's solely the fact that you're 6 feet above ground, or that you can read, write, and reason, or that you have food on your plate, a place to sleep, or people that love you.
Whatever it is, we can always find something to be grateful for. Gratitude is a habit that can be practiced over time. When we can see the good and positive in things, we enjoy a renewed sense of spirit and a restoration of hope and excitement about life and the possibilities it holds for us.
#3 -- Be Objective and Honest About the Situation
The hardest part about failure and losing hope is our inability to look at things objectively, or even honestly at times. Whether the cause of the calamity or strife originated from our behavior or not, having an objective and honest opinion about a situation can mean all the difference.
The truth of the matter is that we get wrapped up in whatever we're doing. We also take failure and defeat very personally. It's difficult to remove our innermost emotions and desires from a situation that we put all of our heart and soul into.
But, when we're objective and honest about a situation, we can illuminate the causes and effects of our behavior, and make the necessary adjustments to our approach that are needed. And if we can modify our approach and not give up, eventually, we can fulfill our dreams.
#4 -- Lean on Others for Support
Losing all hope can be devastating. When we try to move through that journey alone, it can be an arduous undertaking. But, when we can lean on others for support, things do get a little bit easier. While it might not make it a walk-in-the-park, it does entail taking on a lighter load.
Other people can bring new perspective to our situations that we might not have seen before. Because of the ego, it's often hard to see the forest through the trees, so to speak. Yet, our friends, family, peers, and others in our community can help to provide some necessary support to very difficult situations.
Usually, people achieve their goals through one of two means: inspiration or desperation. Either we're inspired by events or other people to keep going, or so desperate and in such dire straits, that we push through no matter what we see or hear.
#5 -- Trust in Your Faith
Sometimes, we need to have a little trust and faith in good things to come and understand that while all things might not be in our control or power, things do happen for a reason. While we might not always understand the reason at the time, one most certainly always exists.
Whether you're Christian, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, or just believe in a unifying spiritual energy that binds us all, having faith means that you have trust and confidence in good things to come. And we can rely on our faith to help restore our hope.
While it's easier said than done, hope can be restored over time, and all hope isn't lost, even when we go through the roughest of times. Whatever doesn't kill us, makes us stronger. We have to believe in the grand design of things, and that good things will eventually happen because human beings weren't created just to survive -- we were created to thrive.
HuffPost's GPS for the Soul app is based on two truths about human beings. First: We all have a centered place of wisdom, harmony and balance within us. Second: We're all going to veer away from that place, again and again and again. What we need is a great course-correcting mechanism -- a GPS for the Soul -- to help us find our way back to that centered place, from which everything is possible.
Because no one knows better than you what helps you de-stress and tap into that place of peace inside yourself, it's important for you to create your very own GPS guide -- a personalized collection of whatever helps you course-correct. Email us at GPS@huffingtonpost.com and we'll set you up with your very own HuffPost blogger account to share your guide on the site. If you're already a blogger, we encourage you to upload your personal guide today. We can't wait to see what you have to share.
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