The Risk of Hope

“I don’t want to get my hopes up.”  We’ve all heard this.  Probably many of us say this on a regular basis.  Something that we anticipate or wish to happen is off in the distance.  Some event that we really, really want to happen.  Something that may change our lives.  Something that might make things better.  Something that will bring us happiness.  “I don’t want to get my hopes up.”  Here is a question – Why?

Let me elaborate on the question.  What is the harm in hope?  Hope to a large extent is about risk.  It’s a gamble.  We wish and want for something to happen so badly that may or may not happen.  But here is the part I’m uncertain about…when we gamble on hope, what is at stake?  It could be great.  Say we’ve made a rather large investment in something and we’re waiting to see if it pans out.  Sometimes it’s a real physical stake involved. But for most people I’ve known that regularly use this phrase, the stakes are never generally that high.  Allow me to explain further.  Generally speaking, it we’ve invested greatly in something, it’s generally a calculated decision.  Ever notice that these types of people generally aren’t the ones that don’t want to get their hopes up.  These are usually the aggressive thinking decision makers we run into.  They’ve made a conscious decision to pursue something and are determined to get there.

No, usually the people that don’t want to get their hopes up are those people that walk to the edge of the ocean and never take a swim for fear of drowning.  They are the ones that look upon most things negatively because then it’s less “painful” when things don’t go their way.  I call them the “yeah, but” people.  They are the Debbie Downers.  They can find a bad situation in the most magical amazing day you’ve ever had.

Here’s the thing.  If all we are looking at is the negativity in life and the bad outcomes that situations might have, where is the joy in life?  At best, happiness for these people is stuff that just randomly happens instead of making a purposeful decision to seek happiness.  Hope is about risk, but much the same as the people making tangible investments in something, we need to make real emotional investments into the things we do and want to do.  We need to actively pursue our own happiness.

So here’s a new statement for you – “Get your hopes up.”  Take the chance to be wishful not just for tomorrow but today as well.  Take advantage of every moment you have to pursue your enjoyment in life.  Will things always happen in life the way we want? Absolutely not.  But I guarantee that if we choose to assume that bad things will happen, chances are more likely that they will.  Everything does not have a silver lining, but every one of us has the choice to pick up a needle and a piece of silver thread and stitch one for ourselves.

~ by bfmooz on June 27, 2011.

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