Hope is not a strategy

posted by Jeff | Sunday, May 5, 2019, 6:41 PM | comments: 0

A guy that I work with, in the context of some evaluation of some technical thing being discussed, declared that, "Hope is not a strategy." The discussion was about some work resulting in some kind of outcome, and the other guy said that he hoped it would mitigate the problem. Indeed, having hope does not lead to something tangible.

I was thinking a lot about that this weekend. We all have difficult situations in our lives, and endure probably more suffering than any of us deserve. The really hard to deal with stuff is the stuff we can't control. For the things that do fall within our influence, we can get so beat down by the world that we relent and fall back on hope or faith. Neither of these things move the needle.

Life has been more challenging than I'd like in the last few years, and some of that is certainly self-inflicted pain. However, some of that pressure has been lifted by first separating the things I can and can't control, and with the former group, understanding that I can't hope my way out of those challenges. I consider this one of the empowering things in the toolbox required to keep your head up. Knowing that you have to act to improve something seems common sense enough, but pair that with other realizations (like, most problems are transient, you'll be dead soon and don't have time to waste on feeling bad, you know more than you did yesterday, people will probably be there to help, etc.), you can be confident that you'll figure things out.

Hoping for things to change will definitely not work. It's not a strategy for betterment of any kind.

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