In the midst of all the chaos in our world, there is always HOPE. There will always be problems, demands and the natural friction that occurs between human beings. But what do we do to maintain our HOPEFULNESS in the midst of it all?
1. 🙏🏾 Commune with God DAILY. I can't emphasize it enough. Nurturing our souls has to be a daily practice to develop and support a healthy outlook of ourselves, life and the inevitable challenges we all must face.
2. 🚴🏼♀️ Exercise is so underrated because we often restrict it to only losing weight. Consistently exercising has an incredible effect on transforming your thoughts, emotions and mood. Research has proven it and many that practice the discipline of consistent exercise can attest to it.
3. 📺 Stop consuming the news 24/7. Yes, we must stay abreast of current affairs, but do it selectively by placing limits on how much you consume and the types of news/media coverage you support.
4. 💝 Finally, recognize that this world still needs your gifts, your love and your solutions. Moments of crisis and suffering has a way of bringing out the best of people by compelling individuals to give of themselves for the sake of humanity.
So should you have hope in the midst of chaos? Absolutely! The challenges of life will always be present, but that's why the world needs you now more than ever. You are irreplaceable and people are depending on all that you have to offer. Incorporate the daily practices mentioned above to maintain and guard your personal peace. It will help in fostering a hopeful mind-set and life. Having HOPE in times of chaos gives you the freedom to pursue your dreams while bringing healing and transformation to people's lives along the way.
Regardless of your work experience, education level and perceived flaws, you are a leader. I define a leader as an influencer, so I will use these terms interchangeably. You have the power to affect change in every environment you step into and more importantly, the people you touch everyday. It doesn’t matter if you've never held a title or a “leadership” position. A title certainly doesn’t make a leader. Whether you’re a housewife, a nurse, a hairstylist or a business owner, you have been called to lead and to influence people in your sphere of the world. Wherever you go, the atmosphere should be a little better because your words and actions have benefited those in your presence. The seeds you sow by the words you speak and the choices you make create a difference in a person’s life. It could be a small act of kindness or offering a word of encouragement. The size of your gesture of influence is irrelevant. The significance comes from your efforts to help restore, strengthen and build those that cross your path. That includes your own children, friends, coworkers and strangers alike.
God has called every woman to be a model, a guide and an encourager to people. Even if you don’t feel like you have the ability to lead others, that doesn’t negate what God has already qualified you to do. Before we can step out to exercise our ability to virtuously influence others, we must recognize that we’ve been made in His image. We've been designed to reflect his heart and mind. Granted, we’re not always living out His reflection because of the misaligned choices we make sometimes. But if we strengthen our self-image by understanding and accepting what He has already built us to do, we free ourselves to actually live it out.
What is the difference between a virtuous leader and the common leader is found in the word “virtuous.” Our virtuousness sets us apart from other leaders in that we are influencing people others out of love, not fear. Virtuous means that we are influencing and leading people from a place of integrity and service. Our decisions and actions toward people are rooted in a genuine desire to help people in whatever capacity we can. I can’t emphasize this enough; we do not lead or influence people to stroke our egos and to feel good about ourselves. Loving people means to bless others at the expense of self, so leadership demonstrates sacrificial love. It is also a redemptive love in that we lead to restore, strengthen and build people, not to serve ourselves. True leadership reflects the love of Christ.
An excerpt from Alice's upcoming book "Designed To Bloom: How To Create a Life of Peace, Purpose and Productivity."
We’re bombarded with negative information through the Internet, news channels, and other mediums. Constantly consuming negative reporting from the web and the news can have an adverse effect on how we view life and ourselves. Politics, crime, and world disasters are playing on a constant loop in the news and social media timelines, which can contribute to feeling a level of despair. Anyone can easily begin to feel hopeless if personal safeguards aren’t put in place. We all want to be aware of what’s going on in the world, but we have to place personal limitations on the types of information we’re paying attention to. We want to ensure we’re consuming more positive information than the negative stuff.
How can we bring some balance, so that we stay abreast of current world affairs, but guard our hearts and minds at the same time?
1. Place limits on how much news you watch. I know, I know...we want to stay glued to our monitors to keep up with what’s going to happen next in the White House and on the streets of major cities, while keeping up with other pressing issues that we’re all concerned about. But you can still remain well informed by limiting the number of days a week you watch the news. For instance, what would happen if you decided to watch the news (including news headlines on social media timelines) only two days a week for 30 minutes at a time? Imagine the difference it would make in your overall joy.
2. Nurture your soul. Nourishing our spirits through daily prayer can help make the shift from feeling hopeless to optimistic. Prayer helps to clear your mind, it creates internal peace, and it decreases stress. “Guard your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life” (Proverbs 4:23).
3. Elevate your mind. Listen to inspiring and uplifting information in the form of personal development/motivational messages that are offered as podcasts, videos, seminars, music, and books. There are many encouraging messages that you can easily pull up on YouTube. Here’s a fantastic video with Michael Hyatt, Michele Cushatt, and Lewis Howes. It can help shift your mind to a more optimistic view of life. The message discussed in the video is not directly related to this topic, but it’s an example of how you can get a quick dose of elevating material at the tips of your fingers.
Balance is always the key to life. I believe in staying up-to-date on local and world affairs. However, protecting our hearts is essential to maintaining our joy. Stay informed, but place limits so that it’s not at the expense of your peace of mind.
Alice is an Educator, Coach, Speaker and Author. She loves teaching on creating peaceful lives through purpose & productivity to help women awaken their gifts to influence their world.