Posted by Ronan Scully in Features.

It is easy to stay hopeful when times are good, but how do you tap into that hopefulness when life doesn’t go as planned? Most people can endure short periods of frustration, especially when there is an end in sight; the toughest times are when we look ahead and feel that our situation is unending.


People who have survived such times are a source of great inspiration. In his book Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl describes his powerful psychological journey during his years in a concentration camp. During this time, he lost his family, was stripped of all his wordly belongings and lived day after day in miserable physical conditions. However, he fought back hopelessness and endured and endured conditions beyond most people’s imaginations because he realised that, while others can control your external existence, they cannot control your mind. He clung to his faith and belief that he would make it, and he did.


It takes courage to remain hopeful against negative forces. You have to remain true to yourself and your beliefs, even when you feel alone. Anchor yourself with your own confidence and know that you can, and will, survive the challenges around you. Choose to have a hopeful outlook, imagine the best outcome in detail and never give up.

Keep believing and working towards your goals. Take care of yourself physically. Get enough sleep, eat a balanced diet and, if you are physically capable, exercise a few times a week. In today’s world there is still hope for a happier future.

If it’s out of your hands, ask yourself if worrying about it will make it better. Make a list of the good things in your life and be thankful for them.

Remember, not all bad things are bad. Smile. It really does increase your face value. Don’t get trapped into bad thoughts. Gossip is an anchor that will weigh you down faster than anything else. Try to generate positive comments when you speak. Remember, positive thinking begins with you. You have the power to spread smiles and encouraging thoughts. As soon as you open your mouth to speak, you are in charge of what comes out. Don’t allow yourself to be a victim of the world around you. Smiles are free and contagious. If you want to spread something try smiling. You will see how the world becomes a happier place.

Positive Thinking

When you are in the tough situation, imagine how it could be worse. As an overseas development worker in some of the toughest places in the world, this is easy for me. I see people on my trips that would love to have my problems.

I am a spiritual person, and I find peace in letting go and believing that if I live with an open heart and help others and do the right thing that blessings will come my way and I will have what I need to be happy.

I believe that we are never burdened with more than we can handle. Bad things happen to good people, crises happen that we can’t understand or control, but we always have control of our own thinking.

Thought for the Week

As your thought for the week, choose to be positive. You will enrich your life and your journey and the lives and journeys of those around you.