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When It's Hard to Hope

Most of us have been there at one time or another, feeling like we can think positive and hold onto hope until “the cows come home” but is it really going to matter. Difficult times in the ag industry are here once again with weather issues, increasing interest rates, and low prices. Hope for many is dwindling. However, hope is something that we need to dig deep and uncover…even when it is the last thing we feel like doing!

What does finding hope do for us? It helps us hang on. It helps us refocus, problem-solve and re-prioritize. It helps us look at what is going well in our life and all the blessings we have.

Let’s do a little activity right now. Wherever you are, look around and notice all the things that are red. Go ahead…notice the reds.

Ok next, look around you and notice all the blues. Got them?

Now a question – when you were looking for the reds, did you see the blues? Were the blues there?

Yes? No?

The answer of course is yes the blues were there, but we didn’t see them because we were looking for the reds. This is what happens in life. The difficult things, adversities, stressors, conflicts (the reds) seem to be looming large everywhere we look. And guess what happens? When we are tuned into the reds, we see more and more reds. We anticipate reds. We accept the reds as inevitable.

However, if we focus on the blues (what we are thankful for, what we accomplished, what is within our control) we will see more and more blues. Reds will still pop up, no question about that! But we don’t have to let the reds rule our lives. We can deal with the reds as we need to and go on focusing on the blues.

This of course is an exercise in controlling our thoughts and our mindset. Our mindset determines how we feel and how we deal with adversity. Our mindset determines holding on to hope. It is hard to have hope over the things outside of our control (like weather and milk prices), but we can have hope around the things that are within our control like the quality of our relationships, taking a problem-solving approach to things that cause stress, taking care of ourselves physically, nurturing our spiritual beliefs, and finding joy in life.

This is my encouragement to you to hold onto hope and focus on the blues instead of the reds!


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