Hope Requires Action

By Doug Mayberry

April 4, 2016 4 min read

Q: My sister and I have very different personalities. When she wakes up, she immediately becomes energized, while I need at least two cups of coffee to begin my day. I prefer her attitude and would like to adopt some of her traits. Why do we differ, and how can I improve my habits?

A: Personality differences are natural, but we can change our habits if we are motivated to do so. A recent article by Elizabeth Brownstein in The Wall Street Journal quotes a research study that indicates our attitudes are critical elements for achieving hopes and success. Individuals who are positive are more likely to achieve their hopes and dreams and can reach a higher level of well-being.

Those who have higher levels of hope enjoy life more! They sleep, exercise and eat healthier. They also get fewer colds, have less hypertension and diabetes, are more likely to survive cancer and have less depression. The study also indicates the importance of creating a strategy to achieve and implement your goals.

Brownstein suggests that you quiz yourself. It can prove helpful to determine whom you can trust, find options and ways to accomplish your hopes, inspire yourself and find an individual who believes in you.

Many psychiatrists believe that up to 80 percent of your happiness is based on your ability to maintain a positive attitude toward life. — Doug


Q: Two years ago, my son married a wonderful woman, and they moved about three hours upstate from my home. They were recently blessed with a baby boy and are planning a christening next month. I want to go to the ceremony but am very nervous about traveling there. How can I make this a success?

A: The best thing you can do to combat any kind of anxiety is to plan ahead. Although the prospect of traveling so far may make you nervous, it's great that you've already recognized potential issues. Sometimes it's hard to identify sources of stress and we react emotionally to them without understanding why — but you've already passed over that hurdle.

Now that you've articulated the issue, you can move on and address it. One great thing you can do is give yourself plenty of time so that you're not struggling to make it there in a rush.

Another issue might be your night vision. Since it's a longer trip, you may be worried that you'd be returning home at night and won't be able to see the road. This is a very valid concern, so check to see if it'll be a problem. If this is an issue, consider staying in town overnight.

Familiarize yourself with the route so you won't worry about getting lost. A potential alternate solution would be taking the train, which would eliminate worries about driving.

Whatever you decide on, don't let fear get in the way of the event. You want to experience these precious moments, so do whatever makes you feel comfortable! — Emma, Doug's granddaughter

Doug Mayberry makes the most of life in a Southern California retirement community. Contact him at [email protected] Betty is a friend of Doug Mayberry, whom she helps write this column. To find out more about Doug Mayberry and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

Photo credit: Susanne Nilsson

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