When things aren’t going great, there’s always hope. We hope we grow up well, end up in a good career, don’t have heartache, maybe even win the lottery. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t, but that doesn’t deter us from hoping for the best the next time. It seems like one of humankind’s greatest attributes but what if it were it were really our folly?
Dirt. Hope for the best / Get Lucky
What is hope? It’s a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen. It’s what allows us to sleep at night with the possibility of a better day tomorrow. It helps us keep going when times are bad and allows us to dream bigger when times are good. It’s the unbridled, and often unwarranted belief that we can make it across any chasm in life. Ultimately, it keeps our head just above water looking for the life preserver..
“Hope is a beggar with its hand out waiting for a donation from passersby.”
Sometimes we hope for the good. We may hope to become wealthy, find our soulmate, or just survive. Sometimes we hope to avoid the bad. We hope we don’t lose our job, get sick, or that it doesn’t rain. These desires can be the reason for us to take action towards their fulfillment or can be the excuse why we don’t. As you probably know, we can have reasons or excuses, but not both. And it’s in the latter that we find hope’s dark side.
The problem with hope is that it requires nothing more than desire. The moment we put that desire in place, we have officially put hope in our hands and we never have to put it down. We never have to let it go. Yet isn’t our truest wish to achieve that for which we had been hoping? However if we achieve it, there’s no more need to hope for it, and hope can be put down so that the object of our hope can be picked up. In other words, hope is the placeholder for what we really want until we can replace it with what we really want. What if the weight of hope placates us enough to where we never end up replacing it with the object of our hope?.
Hope is a beggar with its hand out waiting for a donation from passersby. Hope begs for better yet does not require anything in return. It’s a proponent of the concept of getting something for nothing. This is a direct violation of nature. Everything in nature is a result of work, or a transfer/conversion of energy. We would never expect to enjoy a piece of fruit before we plant the seed. Yet, we will spend hours, days, and years on end hoping things happen, wishing they would happen, and forget that the reason we don’t yet have it is ourselves. When we haven’t done what needs to be done we can’t have what we want to have.
It also robs us of the need to act. The warmth of hope in our lap is often enough to keep us complacent, comfortable, and blissful. We mistaken the good feelings of hope for the good feelings of accomplishment. The only difference being, of course, whether or not we have our object of desire. Such that at the end of the day, we are left wanting and hungry. Hope places our future in the hands of anything but ourselves and so it becomes the excuse why we didn’t make it happen.
How do we turn hope into something more substantial, something that still gives us the good feelings but puts us in a better position to win? Let’s reintroduce the concept of faith. Not necessarily in the typical religious sense, but rather the type of faith that builds the bridge over the chasm. Faith for our purposes is the belief that what who we are and what we do will get us what we want. It’s the ability to swim fast and far instead of treading water, hoping for our ship to come in. It’s our dedication to learning and growing to become the best we can be instead of hoping it works out.
When hope is backed up by work, it becomes faith. When we have faith, we have it in ourselves in the form of competence. We know we have the knowledge on how to get it done and have developed the skills to see it through. We have also set and are carrying out the planned activities specifically designed to help us achieve our goal. Faith give us the vision to see what our abilities and plan can offer if executed. Where hope leaves us wanting, faith is just the extrapolation of putting our value to work.
It is commonly thought that many people are hopeless. Based on our discussion above, I would submit that people are actually full of hope, yet are faithless. They have many wants, yet don’t have the self-worth nor the plan on how to get where they want to be. The hope is there, almost in excess, but the faith to achieve is what is most lacking.
What can we do to exchange hope for faith? How do we convert the hopeful into the faithful?
- Become the person worthy of it. Imagine acquiring the competence needed to achieve it. Competence is the result of knowledge and skill. Knowing how to do it and practicing actually doing it is the first step to setting yourself up for success.
- Write the plan on how to get it. What are the specific activities that if done properly and in order will result in what you want? Since most of what we want has been done before, it’s only a matter of copying the right cat.
- Just do it. Take immediate action (something small, but in the right direction), followed by massive action on your plan from step 2. This is the only way to energize the first two steps. Action, remember, is the most powerful way to replace hope with faith and ultimately your goal.
- Stay positive and faithful. Keep your head up with faith that steps 1-3 will work. Remind yourself that others have done it, expect success, and see the finish line with clarity. When times get tough, have the mental toughness to endure and not quit until the job gets done.
The good news is that at any time we can stop begging and start demanding the success we want in life. We can drop the warmth of an empty hope from our laps, stand up, and get to work with the faith of a bright future. If we’re willing to make this trade, we may find that we are left with all our dreams coming true.
“Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one”
I appreciate you for spending time with us. I challenge you to share this with those 7 friends that always smile, but struggle deep down to move forward in life. It just might save theirs. We shall meet at the top for the bottom’s much too crowded.