Today I want to talk about hope. Yes, hope. No, I don’t mean hoping that all wars would cease, or we’d all live off renewable energy, but the hope that you will have a better tomorrow than you had today. Believe me, I’ve had that experience before, and I have learned many lessons from it.
You see, lately I was confronted with a case of despair, and because I’d been there myself, I wanted to prove to that person, that it’s ok to despair, but use that despair creatively. I think, so many people feel depressed, they don’t know how to handle it, and so they have very unhealthy habits, as a form of an outlet. So, I’m going to be listing out the ways in which you can turn that despair into something beautiful, and the way in which you can overcome it.
Let’s get started!
1. Not Everyone Is Lucky All The Time
There are some people who just happen to be in the right place at the right time; those who seem to have all the connections and all the right opportunities, while the rest of us are left scrounging about for scraps. Now, I know it’s easier to say “don’t compare yourself to them, you’ll get your chance”, but most often than not, that chance either never comes, or you just missed it, because you were too blind to see it.
So, instead, I’ll tell you this: don’t sit around and wait for that chance to come around again. If you missed it, then go find it, do what you can to achieve that success you want. Map out your goal. If it’s to earn more money, find your strengths, use them, turn that despair to motivation, and work towards that goal. For example, if you want more money, find your best skill, build it up, and keep applying to jobs that fit that skill best.
I myself am a blogger, an aspiring filmmaker, entrepreneur, and I’m very optimistic about my chances in the game industry too. Now, I know I won’t be able to be everything, on that list, so I’m focusing on one career goal at a time. At the moment, I’m hoping to set up my own online business, here on this blog. That is my main goal, at least for the next couple of years; after all, I already have a blog that is semi-professional, and I’m getting the hang of finding new topics to write about.
On the side, I’m hoping to start my career in film production, but that can wait. Yes, I’m looking for a job in that industry, but if I manage to get my foot in the door, then my goal will shift, and the business can wait. So, don’t give up. If you want that chance to come around again, look for it, and do the best you can to take it.
2. Turn Your Depression Into Art
If you’re a hidden artist (like I know my sister is), then use your depression to create art, or create something that you enjoy. When I was depressed, I forgot I could crochet, I forgot I could create friendship bracelets and all sorts of needlework art. If I had to go back to that time, I would use my needles as a way to help me get through that difficult time.
There are all sorts of creative ways you can turn your depression into art. Just think of artists like Van Gogh! He was depressed, he even cut off his own ear, but his art is still beautiful, to this day. Perhaps you’re a musician; bang out some tunes on the keyboard, or strum until the strings break, or toot that horn until you have no breath left. After all, Beethoven became depressed after losing his hearing, and still he created beautiful music. It doesn’t matter if what you make is an incomprehensible mess, it’s still something, and if you don’t like it, you can always throw it out (or burn it), it doesn’t hurt to make something, but it does sometimes hurt if you do something, and you can’t undo it.
Now, for those of us with crippling depression, the kind where doing nothing is the only option you have, it’s ok to not be creative. Just sit tight, it will pass. I’ve been there, and when I was feeling a little better, I wrote myself a little poem about my depression. It was so horrible, but I keep it anyway, so that I remember what it was like. Keeping mementos of that isn’t such a bad thing. It reminds you why you never want to go back. It helps you remember what you need to do, when you feel like you’re on the edges of feeling depressed.
3. No One Is Entitled To Anything…
This is actually one of the most important lessons I have ever learned in my life, so far. I actually learned this after many mistakes I’ve made, and I’m sure, if I ever forget this, I’ll be reminded of it, one way or another. I say that “no one is entitled to anything”, because it is true. You might get everything you’ve ever wanted, at some point in your life, but at another point, you will lose it all. It’s, yes, a classic rom-com movie case, or those drama movies where the main character rediscovers themselves, but it can happen, even to you.
At those times, basically think about your situation as one of those movie moments. Ok, so you might not discover your full potential, and what you might be good at; you might find that you’re at your limit, but that doesn’t mean you have the right to lord it over your peers that you were once great, or that you’ll be great again. Like I said, you’re the main character in this movie, rediscover yourself, remember who you used to be before, because it’s those parts of you that made you who you are today.
I have been there a couple of times in the past. When I felt like I was entitled to being heard by my peers; like my opinions were the ones everyone should listen to, and take as gospel, I was constantly put down. I learned the hard way that thinking like that would get you into trouble. It got me bullied at one point, and I knew I had to change before I found myself in a hole I couldn’t climb out of. In the end, I reminded myself that I wasn’t entitled to anything.
What I mean is that anything I had, whether it be clothes, a house, a phone, any material items, are not mine. Yes, I bought them, yes I earned it, but that doesn’t mean I am entitled to them. Sometimes, success doesn’t equate to the amount of possessions or friends you have. Sometimes, it’s about the things you do for others. For example, if you think you’re successful because of the money you earn in a year, you’ll eventually lose that, or if you have fame, and are renowned for what you do, you will lose that respectability and honour too.
4. No One Is Entitled To Anything, Except One…
As I said, you are not entitled to anything, you are given that by others, and they can easily take that away from you. The one thing that they can’t take away from you is your capability to help others. Be charitable, not for the fame, the money or the respect. Do it because you have the capability to do it, and because you will serve as a constant reminder that no one is entitled to anything, except one thing.
It is the best thing to be entitled to. Compassion is the one thing that will lead you to success. It won’t grant you money, it might grant you fame and respect, but those things aren’t what matters. What matters is the knowledge that you are helping others, and that eventually they will help more, in return. I don’t just mean give to charity, or volunteer at a soup kitchen/food bank. I mean take someone under your wing. If you find someone in your close circle struggling with their lives, and they are at rock bottom, help them to their feet, show them what true success looks like. In my opinion, it comes in the form of seeing others grow and flourish.
When I started this blog, I just wanted to do something for myself, but now, I want to grow; I want to have something that can not only help me, but help others too. So, I started employing my friends. I gave them sections of my blog, and I’m collaborating with some of them on some other projects, so that they could add it to their CVs, show the world that they’re proactive, that they can do something and stick to it, and if they ever need a reference, I’d be glad to help them. One day, I hope this blog can help more people, not just by offering advice, or reviews, or some lessons, but I hope to employ more people, so that they too can gain some experience for themselves (of course, that’s going to be a long time yet, since I don’t have money to pay anyone yet).
Ok, so it was a long post (I’m sorry about that), but this has been something I’ve been meaning to write about for the past couple of days, ever since a friend of mine found himself stuck in a rut. Of course, I didn’t just want to write this because of that, I also needed a reaffirmation for myself. I needed to remind myself of some of the lessons that this post gives, because I can easily get so caught up with planning for the future, that I forget to live for today. Anyway, that’s it from me today. It’s your turn. Let us know what lessons of hope you’ve learned, and how they’ve helped you grow as a person. We’d like to hear your stories. Leave your tips in the jar below, and I’ll see you next time!
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