Keep Hope Alive Through Hard Times

April 17, 2021 - by Dr Yang - in Psychology / 心理健康

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What Doesn’t Defeat You Makes You Stronger!

The world is full of uncertainty. Life is challenging for everyone right now. When you read this article, you may feel trapped in life where you find no way out. You may be facing hard time since losing your job. You may feel devastated for losing a loved one. You may be stuck in a heavy traffic on the way to an unrewarding work. Or you may be carrying around the emotional burden of financial struggles.

Every hard time is a part of life. You are not alone. Uncertainty, loss, loneliness, health issues and financial hardship, are things we all experience. There are always obstacles ahead in life, just like a boulder for Sisyphus.

In Greek mythology, Sisyphus was the founder and king of Ephyra. He was punished to roll a huge rock up a steep hill, only to find it to roll down nearing the top every time. Over and over, he roll it back again throughout eternity.

Sisyphus is the symbol of modern people. The rock represents life itself. We all have the “rock” laid before us. But Sisyphus was unstoppable and persistent. As he refused to surrender to gravity, he never gave himself up to the seemingly unchangeable fate. He knew that all of this is destined, so he accept his circumstances rather than escape them. But he never abandoned hope and tried his best to fulfill his potential. Sisyphus is the man who reach skyless space and time without depth. He teaches us that there is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn. That touches me deeply.

Just like Swiss psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung said,“I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become. ”


There is a wound, there is a healing. We all are faced with a boulder upon climbing the mountain of life. When you feel helpless in an uncertain world, see the one direction towards the light of hope. Hope is central to recover from any physical and emotional trauma. Changing your perspective, changing your life. Without hope, rebuilding lives cannot begin.

Hope is the driving force for change. Human life depends on the notion that a person desires to get better. No matter how hard life is, people still believe they can bounce back from adversity. None of us would strive if we believed it a futile effort. Going through tough times is about discovering or rediscovering a sense of hope, optimism and positive identity. Hopefulness is the foundation of developing a positive sense of self and a fulfilling, meaningful life.

“Fear can hold you prisoner. Hope can set you free.” Do you remember and be inspired by the line from The Shawshank Redemption? If you want to be free from your “rock”, nurture a hope in your life and keep it always.


Do you have a clear sense of purpose about what makes your life meaningful?

You want to save people, you become a doctor. You want to enlighten others, you become a teacher. You want to create a vision, you become a mountain climber. Our life is a meaning-making journey. Once you find your purpose, you find your path.

A person with purpose knows what he/she truly wants. In tough times, it is even more important to find your purpose and living a meaningful and fulfilling life. Facing with unexpectable challenges, you can find new meaning , purpose and possibility in life.

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that those who had meaning and a sense of purpose lived longer lives than those who’d self-reported little to no sense of purpose and meaning.

Purpose is the profound “Why?” It inspires you to discover the meaning in life. It inspires you to develop deeper sense of self and renew your commitment to explore the world. Having it creates a sense of life worth living. You will do anything to motivate yourself even if you know you’ll be paralysed for life tomorrow. Like Friedrich Nietzsche said, a person who has a “why” to live can bear almost any “how”.


From the view of Ryan Niemiec, education director of the VIA Institute, 100 percent of people have blind spots about their strengths. No person is fully aware of their strengths or has full self-knowledge.

As human beings, we have a built-in negative bias in our brain that causes us to focus more on bad things than good. We tend to be obsessed with our weakness and fixate on our flaws. When the going gets tough, it’s common for us to overlook our strengths and feed in our self-doubt and self-criticism. We often see ourselves as losers, incapable to rise above adversity.

To overcome negativity bias during tough times, you need to shift your focus on your strengths and opportunities to develop an optimistic outlook on life. All people have a natural power within themselves that can be activated. By utilising and growing your inherent strengths, you can overcome all obstacles and grow through tough times. In one study of thousands of workers, those who reported they used their strengths a lot were eighteen times more likely to be flourishing than those who reported using their strengths very little.

Always remember that you are bigger than your problems. No matter how hard life is, your strengths can always be a valuable resource for joy and resilience.

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Dr Yang

Dr Yang is the registered TCM Practitioner, with extensive experience in Paediatrics, Gynaecology, Neurology, Miscellaneous Diseases and Health Preservation for Individual Wellness.

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