Despair is a state in which everything seems wrong and will turn out badly. And to despair is to abandon hope; give up hope or lose heart (WordNet). Given the prevailing economic uncertainties, social chaos and political turbulence across the globe, there’s every reason to despair.
I’ve had my fair share of despair, though momentary, its effects are nonetheless precarious. I manage to overcome despair each time it comes and how I do that is what I want to share with you in this article.
Some facts about despair
- There are and will always be reasons to despair
- Despair is not gender specific
- It thrives on its victim’s ignorance
- Overcoming despair requires conscious and continuous effort
- The antidote to despair is growth, progress or advancement
Weapons for combating despair
If the antidote to despair is progress or advancement, you need to have a clear picture of the destination to which you’re advancing. In addition to keeping you focused, your vision enables you endure difficult circumstances. Concerning Jesus, we read that his vision of the glory that awaited him made him endure the gruesome death of the cross.
By strength, I don’t mean physical strength, even though that’s necessary. The emphasis here is on inner strength. It is the strength you need to follow through on what it takes to fulfill your vision. You need this kind of strength when everyone believes your vision is a pipe dream. When there’s no one to leverage on, standing on your own requires strength.
This is the ability to act in spite of uncertainties. Courage is an essential quality you need to advance to the future you have never been.
Activity is one of the weapons with which you keep despair at a safe distance from you. When you constantly engage in activities that are in line with your vision, you become a rolling stone that gathers no moss of despair.
Leadership and Overcoming Despair
Interestingly, the above-mentioned weapons are essentially the qualities of good leadership. A good leader has strength (of character), is visionary, courageous and action-oriented. The non-existence of these qualities in most of African leadership is the reason the continent is an epitome of despair.
However, that you’re resident in Africa doesn’t mean you have to live in despair. The reason is that leadership is first, personal. The first rung on the leadership ladder is self-leadership. You just have to lead yourself.
I’ve come this far to let you know that the remedy for despair is leadership – self-leadership. This entails receiving a vision for your life, mustering the strength to advance towards your vision, exhibiting the required courage to stay focused and engaging in the activities that will move you towards your vision.
When you’re self-led, you will overcome despair and thrive even when the larger society has poor leadership at the helm of affairs.