In your life, how many people have you met who are hoping to get the job of their dreams? Or hoping they get a good grade on their exam? How many friends of yours are sitting on their couches complaining they need to lose weight and are hoping it will happen?
“Hope” is a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen. “Hope” is a heart-warming mantra for spectators of the world. It is my belief that “hope”–this blinding euphemism–keeps more people from succeeding more than anything else.
I don’t hope anything for anyone … including myself. I don’t buy greeting cards with the word “hope” in it. I even try to remove it from everyday speech.
In fact, I detest it.
My problem with hope is that many people use it to rid themselves of personal responsibility. Hope discounts personal accountability and precludes action…and you know how I feel about action.
The very idea of hope is predicated on a belief or feeling that what you want will magically appear within a realm of possibility, simply by hoping for it. Our society is obsessed with hope.
“Hope” gives us an excuse not to do something.
“I know I didn’t study enough for this exam, but I hope I still do okay.”
“I didn’t prepare very well for this presentation, but I hope I can wing it.”
“I didn’t go to the gym today, but I’m hoping I still have time to lose the weight.”
I know how easy it is to do this. Hope is alluring. Hope is addictive. Hope is safe. I get it.
However, to achieve anything worthwhile, you must be willing to sacrifice present action for future payoff. You must trade thought for knowledge and theory for experience. You must disregard hope and accept reality.
I challenge you to preempt the earlier statements by taking immediate action. Start the process by asking yourself these questions (or a variation of them depending on your goals):
Am I actively networking with people in my desired industry?
Am I studying as much as I should to get an A/B on this exam?
Am I hitting the gym frequently enough to lose that excess weight? Am I eating the right foods?
Be honest with yourself and answer these questions. Do so and you’ll know exactly where to begin.
…because in order to move forward, you need to be ready to accept the non-sugar-coated truth. When you can do that, you’re ready to give up on “hope” and to start living in reality. Making this decision will be uncomfortable but it’s necessary.
I can only write today because I’ve realized the importance of shrugging off hopeful inaction by taking some slaps of reality to the face. May this article serve as a helpful reminder to give yourself a dose of reality when you need it most. As with any of my articles, I can write and warn you of the dangers of hopeful inaction, but eliminating these mindsets rests on your shoulders.
See you next Thursday.