Hope is not a Strategy

What does Hope give us? Is it a pill of delusion? Is it the new opiate of the masses, replacing religion (at least according to Marx)? I think some of us are deceived by hope because we believe that if we keep thinking positive thoughts, good things will happen. I’m not asserting that we should stop thinking positive thoughts, by all means, we should be as positive as we can because nothing is gained or made better by negative thinking. However, hope can only get us so far.

What is hope really? It’s the promise of a better tomorrow. It’s the idea that if you take away someone’s hope, you’ve taken away their reason to live. Zoe Young writes, “Hope is real; it holds us open to new beginnings and possibilities in life in our hearts and our minds. Believing in hope allows things to come our way; hope allows us to see things for what they are because we are not closed off to the truth of it.”


Where do you find hope? Hope can be found anywhere; it just depends on who is seeking it. I see hope in my husband’s eyes because we’ll soon be bringing children into the world. Some people see hope in a rainbow, or hear it in a song. Some people feel it in an embrace.

Some people struggle to find hope at all. If you think you’re one of them, it is imperative to tell someone, talk to a friend or seek counseling. Living in a hopeless world is no way to live, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t live. There are people who can help you even if you think they can’t. No situation is hopeless and no one is beyond help, especially if a person is willing to seek treatment.

First, accept the reality that no one has complete control over her life, but that she has complete control over how she reacts to circumstances. Living a hopeful life is finding the good in everything that happens to you. It’s not blissful ignorance, but it is choosing to be inspired by your world instead of held down by it. Terrible things happen. Life is unfair. People we love die. Our enemies succeed. Hope finds a way to accept the fact that we can’t change conditions outside of our control, and strengthens our ability to react positively in spite of what happens.

But, is hope enough? What I mean is, if you hope that your kids will do well in school, or if you hope that you’ll lose weight, is it enough that you’re hoping or perhaps do you need to help hope out a little. As I said before, hope is not a strategy.

Hope is a tool, absolutely. Hope can get you out of bed. Hope can get you on the treadmill. Hope can push you back on the path to a degree. But, you have to make the choice to get dressed, crank the velocity up to 10 and crack open the book to study. You have to keep making the choice to succeed. Hope is what gets you up; work is what makes it happen.

I hope that some day soon I’ll be a mom. I hope I’ll become a successful writer. I hope my husband and I will find a place where we fit in together.

With all these hopes, I work every day to make my hope into my reality.

What are you hoping for? How can you transform your hopes?

Hope is not a strategy. But, it’s a great way to kick off change, big or small.


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