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9 Hope-Less Habits to Stop Today

If Martin Luther was right that "everything that is done in the world is done by hope," then our biggest loss of productivity, purpose and persistance happens when we lose hope. In other words, your hope is far too valuable to inadvertently place in jeopardy. And by "hope" I mean the sense that you're secure, the future is bright and you can be at peace and breathe freely. On the contrary, to lose hope is at worst suicide and at best senseless waste of time, energy and productivity. It's been said, "A human can live for 40 days without food, 4 days without water and 8 minutes without oxygen. But not a single second without hope."

But how long can you live, or at least live well, with decreasing hope?"

Is it really OK to ignore it's decreasing presence in us? Drip by drip? This leaky hope affects our attitude, our relationships, our work and ultimately deflates our souls. We feel empty and may not realize we erased hope. We fail to accomplish what we were put here to do.

Here are 9 ways you may be unintentionally emptying hope ...("Hope-Less Habits")

1. Complaining with Complainers

Complaining (whining!) has become a polite and friendly thing even to do with strangers. Today, while lifting at a gym, one woman told another woman how "terrrr-uh-bull" it was that the restaurant she ate in could "ridiculously " charge $125 for a "me-dee-oh-kuh" meal.

The two must have talked for 20 minutes about how this "atrocity,"and even sought my opinion if I thought this was "outrageous." I just smiled.

But, does this form of "gang complaint" really make things better? Really?

2. Posting and/or Arguing Political Crud Online

Speaking of making anyone's life better? Is this form of "free speech" creating more hope, joy and love? Or making us more angry and on edge? More "unfriends?"

Social media can multiply positivity and joy or quickly create hopeless enemies. Pause long and hard before starting or engaging in political bicker online. Will this build up or tare down?

If you're that passionate about making political change, run for office! Join a local committee. Get involved direclty with those you most want to help.

3. Consuming Junk (especially sugar and carbs)

Eating too much carbs and sugar may be akin to drugs that give a quick hit, only to leave you in lethargy and needing more. Take notice of what food creates hope and and what food kills it.

4. Blaming "them"

Blaming "them" has become a past time that may feel good in the moment, but brings destruction in its wake. How easy is to put the blame " out there?" Blame the government. Blame your parents. Blame your spouse. Blame your ex-spouse. Blame the Democrats. Blame the Republicans. Blame iSIS. Blame the evangelicals.

Is that growing your soul or deflating it? Making you happier? Or sadder?

5. Comparing Yourself

Comparison and jealousy always makes you feel little, unhappy and hope less.

Stuff to quit comparing includes your house, your salary, your looks, your car, your spouse, your need for a spouse, your opportunity...

6. Sticking with Work That's Not Working

Sometimes "hopeless" comes from not changing when change is needed. If your job is a sinking ship, get off that ship! Get to a place that fits you and where you'll flourish. Isn't life too short to spend the next 5 years (or 5 weeks!) doing work that's never gonna be your work? 7. Sitting All Day and Night Dr. James Levine has coined the mantra, "sitting is the new smoking." And research has found evidence that prolonged sitting increases the risk of developing several serious illnesses like various types of cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. And when you sit in cars, office chairs and couches all day, you are wreaking havoc on your body .... and therefore our hope! “Sitting is more dangerous than smoking, kills more people than HIV and is more treacherous than parachuting. We are sitting ourselves to death," according to Levine.

Stand up. Get outside! 8. Attacking People Who Can't Hear You The guy who just shouted and swore at me for inadvertantly pulling into a handicapped space, may have thought he was making life better... for whom? Does it really help to get angry at "them" and shout or even cuss when they're behind the a windshield or a tube on the TV? 9. Letting Anxious Thoughts Fester Finally, DO become aware of your inner chatter. And change it! Make that a goal! The Cleveland Wellness Clinic states that "amazingly, 95 percent are the same thoughts repeated every day. On average, 80 percent of those habitual thoughts are negative. Unfortunately, our brains are hardwired to pay more attention to negative experiences than to positive ones"

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