The False Concepts of Hope

Personal Development
Stepping stones of hope

“Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.”
– Vaclav Havel

How often have you said “I hope it will all turn out good”? Just say it to yourself now, and feel inside, how this changes the feeling inside your body?

Do you feel strong & decisive, or do you feel weak & afraid to do the first step. I bet if you repeat that mantra of “hoping it will all turn out good”, that your energy level goes down the toilet.

Why is hope making you weaker, when it is supposed to motivate you and give you strength?
Because the concept of hope is one of the most misunderstood ones in history.

Compare this now to the concept of hope that Vaclav Havel proclaimed in his quote. Imagine yourself now with an inner certainty about whatever you do making sense, and you not caring about how it turns out for them.

That is the inner strength of a warrior, who is not afraid to risk his life for his convictions. And the warriors of today don’t need to kill people.

With that definition in mind Ghandi, Nelson Mandela, Vaclav Havel, Jesus were all great warriors. The had the hope that made them certain about their actions making sense.

Does that mean, that they didn’t made mistakes. No! They did, like everyone else of us. But that didn’t stop them. Because although you might make mistakes on your way, this type of hope that what you hope in will make sense, allows you to restart again, after you’ve made a failure. While you would be devastated through your failures would your only hoping be, that you hoped it will all turn out well.

If Hope for You Means, Wishing for a Good Ending Only …

… then that could lead to:

  • being afraid something might turn out bad, stops you dead in the tracks, even before you made the first step.
  • increased stress levels, since subconsciously you’ll always focus on the possibility of it turning out bad. And power follows focus, so it might more often turn out bad in the end.
  • you not putting in 100% of your heart, because you don’t want to be disappointed by not making it come true.

If Hope for You Means, Knowing That It Has Meaning, No Matter How It Ends …

… then that could lead to:

  • you making the first necessary step to make it happen.
  • decreased stress levels. Yes it still could turn out bad, but there is so much, that is not in your hands anyway, so you might leave fate to God, the Gods or whatever you believe in and focus on what you can do. That is all that is necessary.
  • using worries constructively: in the beginning phase you should do constructive worrying. That means taking into consideration all problems that come to your mind, and find out, what you could do proactively to avoid them or what else to do about them. But once that process is done, you must forget about worrying, or it will rob all energy and boldness from you.

So watch yourself how you use the phrase “I hope …” in your life. Is it most often in the way of “I hope it will all turn out good”? If so, you better watch, if your mind is not too much on the fear side of it turning out bad.

Make a list of why whatever you want to do is important to you. Get a list of big “Why” answers.

  • Why do I want to do it?
  • Why does it make sense to do it?
  • Why is it important to do it?
  • Who else would benefit from this?
  • What is the worst thing, that could happen and why would my actions still be important then?
    You see,by preparing for the worst and accepting it as a possible outcome, you can find the motivation through this important question that will keep you working on it when the going gets though.

If you are ready to do stand up for something you believe 100% in, no matter how it turns out, accepting the risks that are coming with it – you will experience a feeling of being alive, that you might have never experienced before. And at the end of it all, you could say – it was worth the ride. Isn’t that what it’s all about?

13 comments… add one
  • Great post. It is so, so important to make hope a powerful force, not a weakening one. Now up on my Tumblr. http://highwasp.tumblr.com/

    .-= ´s last blog ..Telephones, Addresses, Movies. India, 1982 =-.

    • Patrick

      Thank you very much. I agree with hope as a powerful force. But like electricity it needs to be used wisely to be benefitial.

  • Great article Patrick. For far to many people hope is the same as wishful thinking. It puts the outcome in the power of some mysterious external source. I prefer intention when it comes to outcomes. Intention puts responsibility and influence right where they belong. And that is liberating!

    .-= ´s last blog ..Make It Happen Now Countdown UPDATE =-.

    • Patrick

      Jonathan, indeed as long as hope will lead you to put all power in some external source, you will not be motivated to do the things on your side that are necessary. This would in no way mean that there are no higher powers able to help you. However I would always consider the sufi saying “Trust in God but tie your camel first”.

  • Hi, I think there’s a huge difference between the words “I have hope” and “I hope for.” The first is anchored internally, the second is based on an external wish. I know it’s harder for some people to make the transition from one to the other, though. It takes patience and conscious attention. Thanks for the interesting post.

    .-= ´s last blog ..A Large State of Fear =-.

    • Patrick

      Patty, I am not quite sure, whether the words really make the difference, but I agree, that hope that is internally as a feeling of meaning and security will give you the strength and power to take the steps necessary to achieve your goals. On the other hand will a wishing that gives all power to some external influence diminish your chances of succeeding dramatically.

      • Patrick, I concur here with Patty in that there is a huge difference between “I have hope” and “I hope for…”

        I like how she has explained the distinction – the latter of the two is all about something external to you, over which so often you have no direct infuence.

        .-= ´s last blog ..Be Special to Find the Special One =-.

        • Patrick

          Arvind, I agree that there is a huge difference between those, and I think that it would make an even bigger difference in what emotional state you are in, when saying “I have hope” or “I hope for”. However I totally agree that granting your power to influence to an external power will most often lead to apathy and paralysis.

  • DiscoveredJoys

    Thank you for the fine blog. It gave me a little epiphany when I realised that another phrase summarising what your blog meant to me was:
    “it is better to travel hopefully than arrive”
    Then I looked the phrase up http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/387450.html and found:

    This phrase is a Robert Louis Stevenson quotation, from Virginibus Puerisque, 1881: “Little do ye know your own blessedness; for to travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive, and the true success is to labour.”
    Stevenson was expressing the same idea as the earlier Taoist saying – “The journey is the reward.”

    A little bit of serendipity does you good.

    • Patrick

      Thank you very much for the R.L. Stevenson Quote. Indeed a journey that is powered by hope that comes from knowing it is a meaningful journey is the reward in itself.

  • To me, hope and faith commonly overused words these days, so I love your take on the subject of hope. I’ve been exploring the concept of hopelessness, as a person who was betrayed by ‘hope’ too many times in my former life. Hopelessness can be oddly liberating. (Much more to say on this; this is just a teaser for you!)

    • Patrick

      Ellen, I know what you are referring to. But I don’t think that hope and faith are overused. I think they are both very, very important and potent powers you can use. However I think hope and faith are some of the most often misused words. As long as the concepts of hope and faith are based on external focused wishing it will all turn out good, they will weaken you and will ultimately lead you to frustration and distrust. That’s when hopelessness comes in. To me that is not a state I would like myself to be. But once I understood what hope and faith really mean, they can become power-giving instead of power-taking forces.

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