Hope…ah, that wonderful promise, that longing for a better day, for a better future. We are all too familiar with it. Hope keeps us sane, makes us feel that yes, today might not be ideal, but tomorrow will be better. It can help us put in more effort, hang in there yet another day. But hope alone does not translate to results.
Hope is not a strategy. Luck is not a factor. Failure is not an option. – James Cameron
The first time I came across that quote about two years ago, it hit me like a ton of bricks. It may have been some blog post. It might have been a Tai Lopez podcast. But it definitely woke me up. I wanted things to change, I wanted more for myself, but apart from hope that something good would happen, I had no real strategy to speak of. How often are we guilty of this? How many times do we rely on hope, instead of taking real action to get the things we want?
Hope is easy. It gives us the warm fuzzies. It broadens our vision and fills our heart. That is a good thing. Rather be optimistic than pessimistic. See the world as glass half full. Stretch your imagination and want the very best for yourself. But expecting the best does not preclude the work, does not excuse you from doing everything you can, from dealing with the realities, including preparing for the worst.
I have written previously about going on the offensive. There are two main ways of viewing and interacting with the world. You either see the world and life as something that HAPPENS TO YOU or as something that YOU HAPPEN to. Too often, hope is passive. You hope for better conditions, or for something to fall in your lap. You hope for next year to be better than this one. You hope to get a job. You hope to make more money. You hope the right clients will find you. You hope to get lucky.
And sometimes, you do get lucky…sometimes. Why rely on the vagaries of lady fortune? Why rely on something you can’t control? It just means you are too lazy to do what you need to do to increase the odds in your favor. You want someone else or something else, or even God to do it for you.
The correct way to look at it, is to contemplate what a strategy is. A strategy is a directed plan of action. It involves careful consideration and research into all the factors at play – the conditions, the other players on the board, the lay of the land and environment. And then a plan of action on how to move against all the variables to achieve your goal. Coupled with the will to do whatever it takes to get what you want. That is a strategy. It is active, it takes responsibility, it puts the ball in your court and the power in your hands.
Sure, it is the tougher way, a harder way, but it is the active role. And it is much better than just baseless hope. Our posture towards life, if we are trying to get what we want, and achieve things, must always be active. Pressing forward, actively, aggressively. When we do pause and wait, we do so intentionally, we do so to read the times, to understand what to do next, to wait for our opening to pounce. But the mindset, the approach is always active.
The only place for hope, is to wake up, after having made all preparations, and done everything you could possibly do in your quest to get what you want, and pray for favourable conditions, for a successful outcome.
The work belongs to you. The results belong to God.
And even then, it is with humility, knowing that all of it could be for naught. You can do everything you can, you can do your absolute best, but even that doesn’t entitle you to the results. The only thing you are entitled to, the only thing within your control, is your attitude and your actions. So we hope still, but we do all we can, until we get what we want.