Overcoming Hopelessness

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Use it.

Life is about conveying what you are feeling through the actions you impart on the instrument you possess, whether that is through the use of your voice, your writing or your actions.

Inspiration can come from anywhere; your dissatisfaction can become the fuel which drives your engine of creativity. Some of the greatest songs in history have been written from a position of hurt, dissatisfaction, and unhappiness. They are great because they capture a moment that we have all felt and portray it in a way we can relate to. Hopelessness is often the self-edification that leads to great discovery or advancement.

Feelings of hopelessness are perfectly human and natural. Everybody has felt that way and the obsequiousness of the human condition means if you can capture it you can create something of value to other people. By identifying the reason for your hopelessness, whether it is the lack of a product or ability to do something, you are providing a solution to a problem. The value can be derived from the fulfillment gained from overcoming the feeling you are currently experiencing or from sharing it with other people.

So you have two distinctly antagonistic options — one of action and the other of inaction.

One ensures you remain stagnant having done nothing to progress; the other is a dark road, fraught with worry, stress, despair and only the potential for success but with no conceivable end in sight. This road of action is littered with obstacles which consistently challenge you to reverse course and revert to the process of nothingness. The first challenge then is simple: Do something. By doing something — anything at all — it affords you the prospect of discovery and the chance to learn and create.

Doing something is the paradigm shift in thinking required to enable progress.

Ironically the destruction of procrastination as an option takes time. The modern world has made it even harder, doing nothing has never been so easy! Got a spare few hours? They can disappear as quickly as unlocking your smartphone. For me this affords opportunity. By training yourself to do something when others are perpetually in a state of inaction, seduced by the allure of technology, gives you a chance to progress and cultivate something of value. Taking those first steps, breaking away from the burden of modern distraction, are what is required to begin the journey.

So really it is entirely up to you, you can use this moment of clarity you have towards a very specific and powerful emotion or you can wait out the storm and let it pass.

It’s about being passionate and persevering. You need to have the grit to become great. Greatness comes from an unmerciful desire to progress in the face of adversity.

You have to keep on keeping on.

It is so easy to encounter the paralysis that comes from not knowing what to do or where to go. When your mind is devoid of ideas and intentions the easiest thing in the world is to stand still and imagine a time when those feeling will pass. But they won’t. Those feeling shackle you and prey on your helplessness sending you into spiraling perpetual despair which is cyclical and never-ending.

Instead of spending your time considering new ideas you are fighting to free yourself from the tentacles of ineptness holding you back. Rather than using your energy and time productively you are trying to fight your way back to dry land where, only then, you can begin to imagine again.

And that is why people struggle. They believe you are either creating or you are waiting to create. They aren’t cognizant of the mental leap that must be made for creation to occur. Defeating the mindset that prevents creation is the most difficult thing in the world. When we don’t feel creative it is incredibly easy to bestow upon ourselves the false reality that it is because we are not creative.

We are all equally creative if we allow ourselves to be. Our potential is unlimited and can only be constrained by a lack of imagination. But our imagination must be trained consistently; constant use of any muscle enables it to grow and flourish.

The difference between good and greatness is much closer than we think. Greatness is achieved by being prolific. Almost universally we create the same number of great ideas. Those who are prolific simply create more which can be recognized as such.

So you need to afford yourself the opportunity of greatness by doing and never stopping. Hopelessness is banished most easily by continuing through it without ever acknowledging it. You might create something awful but it’s something that can be iteratively developed. If you learn the lessons of your failing each cumulative change will lead to something better and eventually something profound.

Failure and hopelessness are only such when you fail to learn. If you relentlessly pursue progress you’ll never stand still or have time to be assaulted by hopelessness.

Create, reflect, develop and improve and you’re well on your way to greatness.

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