"Hope is the worst of evils, for it prolongs the torments of man." -- Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
"Many of the great achievements of the world were accomplished by tired and discouraged men who kept on working." -- Author Unknown
How can hope possibly be bad? We've all been taught that it's essential to have hope. We hope for various things throughout our lives. Health, wealth, good fortune, happiness, joy, the attainment of dreams, and solutions to problems are commonly hoped for by many.
When faced with adversity, we hope for the best. We hope for strength to get through tough times. Even certain behavior by others is hoped for. Isn't it a preposterous concept that there is any possibility that hope could have a negative impact?
After all, hope has enabled people to endure tragedies, against all odds. Invariably, survivors assert that they never gave up hope, in spite of how grim the future might have appeared. They have no doubt that without hope, they never would have made it through.
We look at these examples and marvel at the power of hope. We are in awe of its ability to enable people to achieve the seemingly impossible. Who in their right mind would ever malign hope? After all, those with hope always attain far more than people without it.
The key to the power of hope is action. Hope without action is like a sailboat without sails. Neither will take you very far. You might get lucky and arrive at some desired destination. But it's far more likely you will be disappointed with where you wind up.
Action is the engine which takes you in your chosen direction toward your desired goal. Hope supercharges your thoughts to enable you to accomplish more than you thought possible. When hope is combined with action, determination, and persistence it becomes a truly awesome force. By itself, hope is little more than wishful thinking.
People with hope refuse to give up. Hope generates laser like focus which enables the attainment of results that many would consider impossible. To those with hope, failure is not an option. Hope puts the brain into a higher level of functioning. A mind filled with hope will not be deterred by fear.
That being said, hope doesn't prevent problems. It enables you to find solutions or get through tough times. However, there are circumstances that will be out of your control. Hope enables you to survive situations that make no sense or have no explanation. You may not know why some events happen, but hope provides comfort that things can get better.
People with hope are optimistic. Optimistic people have positive expectations. Positive expectations attract desirable results, but only when action is taken. For example, those who have used hope to survive being stranded at sea or lost in the wilderness, never just sat there passively waiting for their predicament to improve.
They always took some action, no matter how small. In so doing, they refused to be a victim. Instead they made a conscious decision to take a proactive role in determining their fate. You can be certain that the individuals the second quote above is referring to, always maintained hope, regardless of how exhausted they became.
Hope is ineffective without action. Don't just hope for the best. Go and get what you want. Take the necessary steps. Put in whatever effort is required. Never give up. Stay positive. Purge negative thoughts. And then add hope. Now you have a powerful combination whose sum is far greater than its parts.
NOW AVAILABLE: "Dare to Live Without Limits," the book. Visit www.BryanGolden.com or your bookstore. Bryan is a management consultant, motivational speaker, author, and adjunct professor. E-mail Bryan at firstname.lastname@example.org or write him c/o this paper. 2008 Bryan Golden