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Reflect On 2016… Take 5 Actions For Hope In 2017!

HopeWith the onset of winter, holidays, and the end of the year, it’s time to reflect.

How do you find hope in a time of chaos and upheaval?

In what ways are you contributing to solutions?

Finally, what is your plan to make the world a better place to live?

1  Expect the Unexpected

A while ago, a friend of mine shared this phrase with me.  It stuck.  Today, when life happens, playing this phrase in my head gives me hope.  The world is filled with surprises, and it’s up to you to keep an open mind and know life goes on regardless of any attachment to the outcome.

Maybe it is a blessing in disguise.  Hope is more will be revealed in the right time.  Hope is events won’t occur before it is time.  Think about a garden; plants don’t bloom before their time.

Reflect on instances in your life when the unexpected occurred.  How did you cope?  Did you talk with friends?  Did you journal?  In what ways did you seek solace and comfort?  At last, what was the outcome?

A challenge for the end of 2016:  In one column, make a list of all the unexpected events that occurred during this past year.  In the second column, list the outcomes.  You might be surprised.  When I was worrying about my life, I did this and was amazed, hopeful, and positive.  Fears dissipated.

2  Be Open to the Gifts

Gifts?  What gifts?  You may be thinking, I’ve just received this diagnosis.  I ended a relationship.  My workplace eliminated my position.  My loved ones are aging, and many more.  Can you see the blessing in all situations regardless of appearances?

One of the many ways to define blessing according to Webster’s dictionary is as something that helps you or brings happiness.

The blessings may not come at first, yet they will come.  From disasters in communities, people have pulled together and supported each other.  Out of wars came surgical advances.

Around 500 B.C., the pre-Socratic Green philosopher Heraclitus said, “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river, and he’s not the same man.” 

Think about gifts (not material) you’ve received in your life. What happened?  Were you the same person?  Applying Heraclitus’s quote, indeed, no two days are alike.

Ultimately, don’t judge the gifts.  That’s when you can get caught up in attachments to physical appearances.  Happiness is a choice.

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Dr. Deborah A. Westin
Dr. Deborah A. Westinhttps://westinchile.wordpress.com/about/
DR. DEBORAH A. Westin loves life as an Intercultural Awareness Trainer. She teaches international students English and USA Culture.

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