(#259) Is “Hope” a Meaningless Sentiment?

Is hope just a word that will soon be washed away by
an incoming tide? 
Or does it send a message of resilience?

What is the worth of “hope”?  As in, “don’t lose hope.”  Or, “I hope tomorrow is better than today.”  And, “I hope the boss likes my report.”

I have gone around the block with hope.  Like many of us, I have used the word without real thought any time I wished for something either to happen or not to happen.  It became a cliché word without much thought.  (A lot like the word “try” that is bandied about all the time. You know, “It didn’t work but I tried!“)

I then went 180 degrees and embraced the thought that “hope is not a strategy” and is not conducive to progress. It can be, I thought, a comfortable rationalization for inaction.

This past week I had a conversation with a colleague who is grappling with some professional challenges.  We both had recently heard a speaker focus on the power of hope. Hope for the future. Hope for improvement. Hope for a meaningful life. Hope for a good job. Hope, hope, hope.

My friend said that was nice—but he needed a plan to move through and beyond his challenges. “Hope” would not do the job.

Image: Laurie Piscitelli

Image: Laurie Piscitelli

A little over a year ago, a dear friend battled a disease that would in short order kill her.  While walking on the beach, my wife wrote the word hope in the sand and took the above photo.  So many ways to look at that.

Is hope just a word that will soon be washed away by an incoming tide? Or does it send a message of resilience?

I’ve come to believe that hope can be a powerful source of inspiration. In some cases, it might be the last thing separating a person from desperation and just giving up.

BUT for hope to have any chance of a lasting impact there must be more. Consider the equation:

H  +  P  +  A  =  D

HOPE can be the fuel that keeps our head up in times when we are confused, angry, and/or tired. Nice.  But to that we must add a PLAN. What do we need to put in place in order to move out of the (desperate) situation we find ourselves? Again, the plan (or goal) represents a start but it must be accompanied by ACTION.  What will you actually do to move your goal from words to your desired DESTINATION?

So to answer my question in the title above: Hope can be a meaningful sentiment as long as it is accompanied by a well-thought-out plan that is put into action to move toward the destination.  Hope, to me, can be a powerful fuel. But like the fuel in your car, it will not move you forward unless you put yourself in gear, step on the gas, and navigate down the road.

Video recommendation of the week:

This week, keep hope in front of you.

Make it a wonderful week—H.T.R.B. as needed.

Check out my website (http://www.stevepiscitelli.com/programs.html) for programming information as well as details about upcoming webinars  (http://www.stevepiscitelli.com/webinars).

Information on my newest book, Choices for College Success (3rd ed.), can be found at Pearson Education.

(c) 2015. Steve Piscitelli. All rights reserved.

 

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