Here's How to Avoid Losing Hope so You Can Live a Life You Love ...

“Hope is a good thing, may be the best of things; and a good thing never dies” –The Shawshank Redemption.

No matter how low you are, no matter how down you feel, one thing remains - hope is always there. It may be just a glimmer but it’s there and its existence is there for you to grab it and make it shine bright in your life.

1. Always Think in the Long Term and Your Decisions Will Always Lead to Hope

If you consider every decision with a view to the long term, you will lead a far more hopeful life that you can love. Should you eat that whole cheesecake? In the short term it is a great idea, especially if the world blows up tomorrow, but in the long term it is going to shorten your life, make you look ugly and cause health problems. Should you get a tattoo of an angry pumpkin covered with rose thorns? In the short term it will freak out your friends and be a great conversation starter with hot guys, but in the long term it is going to put off the ladies at a women’s guild when you are trying to win their votes to elect you mayor.

2. Make Your Decisions Based on Your Mind and Not Your Heart

The best advice on how to not lose hope involves following your head and not your heart. Follow your heart and you walk a hopeless path. Make decisions with your head and not your heart, and you will lead a more hopeful life by default. Your head says the six lady’s names he has tattooed on his arms are not names of his late dogs, but your heart says that you are different and you are the one that can change him.

3. Understand That the Life You Love Needs Constant Maintenance

The life you love is not going to appear. It takes thought and work. It also takes maintenance. For example, the perfect marriage is not won at the wedding; it takes constant maintenance otherwise he starts coming home smelling of his secretary, and you get a crush on the gardener.

4. Get People to Share Your Dream so You May Mutually Help Each Other

The life you love may be the life somebody else would love too. Find others that have a similar dream or goal as you and see if they will join forces. Maybe the life you love involves growing sweet peas in a big greenhouse, or photographing celebs on the catwalk. No matter what your goal, there are always others out there that have it too and can join you in your quest to getting there.

5. Work on Your Plan Every Day

You may only have hope if you have a plan. If you do not have a plan, then hope turns to wishes, and wishes do not come true unless you are the 16 year old daughter of a millionaire. A plan puts you in the driving seat and shows you what you are shooting for. Change and adapt your plan to suit your progress, and within the plan you will see a glimmer of hope. Every time you get closer to your goal you get closer to living a life you love.

6. Take Two Days off Every Week

If you can’t fit two full days, then take two nights and one full day. Pack the kids off to their grandparents. Push your college assignments to one side. Leave work at work, This does not mean sit around and watch TV for two days: it means experience something other than your routine for a total of two days per week. You will be surprised how much hope re-enters your life when you purposefully take yourself out of your routine.

7. Learn How to Say No

Most people lose hope when they feel helpless, and most people in the free world feel helpless because they have not mastered the word “No.” Its a fantastic word you can use when you do not want to work overtime, when you do not want to pick up another person’s kids, and when you do not want to pay for your boyfriends new jean’s. It is a liberating word you can use to stop people taking you for granted, so you can live your life with a little more hope.

Life isn’t easy but hope is there to help you through it. Embrace hope, love hope. Hope will love you back.