Written Works Strategy of Hope Robert L. Dortch Jr. | April 12, 2020

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We're living in unprecedented and uncertain times. This current pandemic is a wakeup call that life is subject to change without warning and business as usual will not survive. It has grabbed us and is pulling us into an unknown future. This moment requires spiritual and strategic dexterity to not only survive but to achieve serenity and success.

Understandably, many are discouraged, depressed, confused by ever changing stay at home orders, social distancing and daily statistics of increased covid 19 cases and loss of life. Yet the dreamer in me is hopeful and believes there are lessons to be learned in this moment and yes, success and serenity is possible if we're open to being students of life who activate our aspirations in the pursuit of creating a better, more just, healthier version of our self and the world we call home.

Some are looking at me with a skeptical side eye as you ask, "How can we be hopeful during times of struggle and suffering?"  

By implementing a strategy of hope, we're putting in place a holistic strategic road map to help us navigate unprecedented and uncertain times in way that works best for our unique and yet collective situation. 

1. See Beyond the Suffering.

Vision is a prerequisite for survival. I must see it and believe it before I can be it or achieve it. What's your vision for your life, for your work, for community and for your family? That may require a shift in your focus. Instead of focusing on the struggle set aside a moment each day to spend some time imagining what you hope to achieve.

2. Develop Your Strategy

What's your plan for this moment?
For hope and dreams to come alive, strategic thinking is required in designing a road map that provides some direction, planning, accountability and coordination of the many moving pieces that make up our lives.

3. Identify and Activate your Strengths. 

What strengths do you have that can be used to help you deal with this current situation?
Spend time developing and leveraging your strengths. Put the strengths to work and it will give you the power and energy needed to sustain during difficult days

4. Seek to Serve

How can you serve and make a difference? 
It's in serving that we achieve purpose and add value. While expressing to my father the seriousness of this pandemic and asking him to consider scaling back his volunteer efforts at a local foodbank because of increase vulnerability. My father said, Son I'm blessed and I'm a servant, so I'm goin' serve. Service looks different for all of us. Some are on the front lines each and every day and for others it could be like D-Nice Club Quarantine where he created a space for people to dance, hang out and come together. For others it's volunteering, donating supplies or making a contribution to a deserving non-profit , supporting local restaurants and other small businesses, doing grocery runs for seniors, reading to young people via zoom or posting words and images of inspiration. This moment has shown us that we can be creative in the various ways in which we serve. The key is just serve.

5. Known Your Support System(s)

Who are your support systems during this time?
We all need support in navigating this pandemic which is bigger than any of us. There is a difference social distancing and isolation. Therefore, make sure to check in and ask for help and support because no one can or will survive this alone

6. Design a Space that Supports You

How does your current space support you, your strategy and nurture your spirit?
With many of us working remotely our time at home has turned our residence into our office, our restaurant, our club, our church and therefore its important that our space supports us.  I purchased a miniature waterfall and hung photos of my family and my favorite images and destination and it has made all the difference in how I navigate the day. It may be as simple as opening the windows, letting light in or hanging a photo that that calms your anxiety and speaks to your spirit.

7. Strive for Serenity

What brings you peace?
Our desire for serenity is an ongoing quest and can be achieved in a variety of approaches. A walk. Connecting with your faith community. Incorporating a moment of mindfulness and meditation into your daily routine. Be intentional in creating moments where you can disconnect from the noise to calm your spirit, relax and rejuvenate so that you will be ready to lean into this moment with hope and the opportunities for growth and self discovery and we will come out stronger and ready for whatever life presents to you in the next chapter. Stay safe, be well and keep believing.

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