Optimism.

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

Optimism.

Optimism

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”

― Winston S. Churchill

“Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.”

― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

“You’ll never find a rainbow if you’re looking down”

― Charlie Chaplin

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

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Cultivating hope.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Hope

Hope.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Recovery begins with having hope.

Hope or Despair

Cultivate Hope.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

When you can’t see any way to turn you don’t make many changes. For most people, change begins with finding and holding onto hope. Look around for those who were in dire straits and who have overcome. Learn from those who surmounted difficulties. The first step on the journey of recovery is deciding that you can’t stay where you are, stuck in the past and in your suffering.

One definition of recovery is “overcoming a hopeless state of mind and body.” Recovery does not erase your past or the challenges you face. What recovery does mean is that you can learn to live with your challenges. Have you decided you want to create the best life possible? Then begin by nurturing hope.

Here are some ways you can grow more hope in your life.

Study hope, become an expert on hope cultivation.

Learn about hope. Make studying hope and recovery priorities. Ask yourself “How have others found their hope?” Read books about hope and recovery. There are a great many books, blogs and other hope-filled resources available these days.

Join groups that promote hope. Be around others who are in recovery and have overcome life’s setbacks. Hope, like light, can fade the farther you are from it. This is why it is important to have people in your closest circles who have hope and are willing to share it.

Look for others who have recovered, whatever that recovery may mean to them. Hope is one of these infinite resources, the more you give it away the more of it you have.

Everywhere around you are examples of recovery from serious, severe difficulties. Nurture connections with positive and hope-filled people.

Tell yourself that others have done it and you can too.

Self-talk creates self-destiny. Make use of positive affirmations. Learn how self-affirming thoughts can fill you with hope. Practice both hoping for a better future and doing the work needed to take you there.

Say it will never happen and you create that outcome. Say all things are possible for those who hope and you are already on the path. Affirmations are powerful forces for creating things. Negative self-talk creates pain and suffering, hopeful self-talk produces possibilities.

Let others hope for you until you can grow your own hope.

If you find yourself stuck in hopelessness seek out others, professionals or peers, who have hope for you and let them talk about those hopes for you until you are able to create that hope on your own.

Look for undeveloped strengths and improvement opportunities.

Weaknesses and failure are easy to spot in yourself and in others. Look for potential strengths you didn’t know you had. Try out new things and you are likely to find that some of those things are just the opportunity you have been looking for.

Great things can happen when someone takes a chance and tries something they have always wanted to do. You are likely to surprise yourself when you find that you have skills that are not yet developed.

This happens every semester at the community college when students who are returning after many years out of school discover they are far more capable than they had ever realized. Now that you are older and possibly wiser revisit something you have wanted to do but avoided because of a fear of failure. Wonderful things can happen when you have hope. Accomplishing the little things in life builds hope for the greater tasks.

Focus on the positive.

You find what you look for. Look for the negative and your life fills with misery. Search out the positive and it grows.

You can cry about your losses but sometimes those things need to leave your life to make room for better things.  Judith Viorst in her book Necessary Losses tells the story of how letting go of painful things can make room for a better life.

Elizabeth Lesser’s book Broken Open tells of how the pain of loss can be the catalyst to finding yourself and deeper meaning.

Give yourself a round of applause for things well done.

Don’t be shy about accepting compliments and acknowledging rounds of applause. Recognizing accomplishments builds self-esteem. I see no evidence that accepting compliments from yourself or others will make you conceited. Failure to give yourself credit where credit is due will undermine your self-confidence.

When offered a compliment do you find it hard to accept? Learn to save compliments and simply thank those who offer them. Dismissing compliments with an “it was nothing” form of comment is not modesty it is devaluing the compliments of others.

Think about the ways you will you go about cultivating hope in your life and please leave a comment to share any hope building methods that have worked for you.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Can you spare a cup of hope?

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Cup full of hope.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Do you have enough hope in you that you could share some?

Hope seems to be in short supply. People find it hard to hope. Hope is something that makes recovery possible. So what is someone to do who has lost hope? Maybe you can be that “cup of hope” this other person needs just now.

The quote “Can you spare a cup of sugar” goes back to a different time in our history. There was a time when people could go to their neighbors and ask for the loan of something that they needed at that moment. Asking the people around you for help seems to be less common these days. Help, like hope, seems to require you to pay a price nowadays.

Some people just are afraid to be involved with others. Connections are fraught with danger. So there are some of you who I know will not open your door. Not for a cup of sugar and certainly not to offer a neighbor some hope that things can get better. Has it really reached the point when offering up hope is a dangerous thing to do?

Sometimes we see people who need help and we wonder if helping them is something we should do. Giving an addict money may only add to their addiction. Giving them food may keep them alive today. But if you give someone hope then they may change their lives.

Hope is one of those commodities in short supply these days, like water in the desert. We are all wishing for the rain to end the drought but when will the showers of hope come?

Hope is one of those “core” values in a Wellness and Recovery Action Plan (WRAP.) Without some measure, a cup or a teaspoon full, of hope recovery fails to materialize. Sometimes all we can offer a struggling person is the “Hope that they will be able to cultivate a crop of Hope.”

Twelve-step groups talk about “sharing their experience, strength, and hope.”  People who have found recovery seem to have enough hope to spare. Hope comes from a well that never runs dry. The more of this hope thing you share the more you have. Without hope people perish, with hope, they thrive.

The seeds of hope are everywhere. What is lacking sometimes is a person to nurture them. Hope starts with a smile to someone who can’t smile. It grows in the attitude that someone believes this person is of value no matter what their current position. Judgment and disdain prune hope back.

Hope is the chance to find a job when you had come to believe you would never work again. Hope is seeing your family when you thought that connection was gone forever. Hope is a place to sleep for the homeless and a meal for the hungry.

For some hope is knowing that there is someone in your life who believes in you when you find it hard to believe in yourself.

In this country, one of the wealthiest on earth, it is hard to imagine that hope is in such short supply. How have so many lost their hope and see only the bad that can occur when every day there are miracles growing from the seeds of hope planted by caring people? Has hope become too precious and expensive for all of us to be able to share a “cup of hope” to those in need of an extra cup of hope?

Do you have enough hope that you can share some?

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.