2015–Your Chosen Advantage-5

HOPE

“You must decide today not to rob the world of the rich, valuable, potent, untapped resources locked away within you.” Myles Munroe  (Understanding Your Potential, Destiny Image Publishers, 1991, 2002)

If the feelings, “I’m not worthy” and “I don’t deserve…” destroy or neutralize faith, then “It doesn’t matter” is the feeling that keeps your hope level low. Of the books I’ve written, I have favorites, but the most important is HopePushers.  It will be published as an ebook in January 2015. The book’s purpose is to describe hope as the infrastructure of your life. The book’s content can be distilled to….

  • Hope—what it is
  • How to gain it
  • How to maintain it
  • How to dispense it.

Pay Attention to your emotions

Hope cannot be gained by direct approach, it is a by-product. One of my tribe asked why hope is not a fruit of the Spirit. It has those qualities. Hope, more than the fruit, is dependent upon your decisions, actions and pursuits. Hope comes as you manage your mind and feelings and follow an inflow regimen.

Guy Winch, author of Emotional First Aid. (You may also see him on Winch’s Tedx Talk). The soil where hope grows is more fertile as you pay attention to these:

  • Pay attention to emotional pain. Don’t ignore it, do something! Emotional needs healing.
  • Take Action when you feel lonely. Reach out. Connect.
  • Stop your emotional bleeding. Take control of what you can: preparation, planning, effort and execution. (“But it won’t make any difference.” That is not true. Hope grows as you consistently do what you can.)
  • Protect your self-esteem. “Guard your heart for out of it flow the issues of life.” Self-esteem (what you feel about you) is like an emotional immune system. How? Avoiding negative self-talk and negative people who target you with their poison.
  • Revive your self-concept after a rejection. Winch suggests: no name-calling and treating yourself with compassion—kind, understanding, supportive. Tell yourself your story carefully.
  • Battle Negative thinking.  No rumination—find ways to stop re-chewing it.
  • Know the impact of wounds and how to treat them.

Commit to self-satisfying work and avocation

Design your work space

  • What is your vision/dream?
  • What do you love to do?
  • What do you do in your work that doesn’t seem like work?
  • What is energy efficient? It brings back more than it uses up?
  • What in your work requirements are you not good at? Outsource it! Have someone do what you suck at so you can do what you love and excel in doing.
  • How can you increase your value in your work assignment? Seminar? Book? Mentor?

The chosen advantage is that you daily invest in hope-building activities. You keep the flow open at these entrance points and flowing out into deserts and wastelands—to those areas and people whose barrenness needs what you are receiving, learning and applying.

My grandfather had an outdoor shower. He built a structure to hold a barrel with a chain to open the valve to let the water flow upon him. He would fill the barrel with a hose and let it warm in the sun so it would be ready when he came from the field at the end of the day. Faith, hope, love demand the same attention.

Honor your daily appointment with God

The inflow depends upon hearing what you don’t already know. Jeremiah 33:3 is a remarkable source for a productive life.

Come on over here to the window—the chosen advantage. From this view of your world, make a list of your assets. Friends who think you are worth their time and affection, family members who invest in you and want to help you hang the moon, perceive opportunities, and build skills.

There is one more chosen advantage—Love. Not an emotion, this is about your relationships—the third resource. Join me for this last conversation in this series. Bring your list of assets.

©2015 D. Dean Benton—Writer, Wonderer, Provoker

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