Hope is Not a Strategy – Take Action
My grandfather had a great saying, “If wishes were horses, all beggars would ride”. Although somewhat dated (my grandfather would be 124 years old now), the sentiment still holds true.
Wishing gets you nowhere. With due deference to Jiminy Cricket, wishing on a star won’t make your dreams come true. Hoping for the best accomplishes nothing. Having big dreams, or even big audacious goals, is a waste of psychic energy, without action.
Self help books counsel us on the value of hoping for the best. I used to hope for the best. In fact, I spent decades hoping for the best. Do you know what it got me? Absolutely nothing. That’s right – nothing, nada, zip, zilch, zero, nothing.
At some point I realized that wishing and hoping were forms of mental gymnastics with no pay off. I believed that positive thoughts and affirmations would make my wishes come true.
Enter the phenomenon of “The Secret”, which took popular culture by storm. I believe there is energy in the universe that provides according to its plan, read that its plan not your plan. However the concept of the book has been corrupted by many to say that if you put your desires out into the universe, you can sit on the couch eating chips and dips and wait for the universe to deliver on your wishes like a pizza.
And how’s that working for you? I’ll tell you, it doesn’t. You can wish and hope and dream all you want, but you will remain just where you are, doing what you’re doing and staying stuck.
Hope is not a strategy. Hope is hope. I am a very hopeful person, and I have a very positive attitude about most people and things. Hope by itself may make you feel better in the short term, but it doesn’t generate progress.
Only action can do that. Sitting on the couch gets you nothing but a big butt. Only by making a plan and taking the actions necessary to put that plan into motion will you move your personal or business ball forward.
The difference between success and stagnation is the distance between your desire and your decision. Desire on its own is not enough to bring success. It is only when you make the decision to act on your desires – to develop a strategy with specific steps you need to take to reach your goal – that you will find success.
Desire is a great starting place. When you get clear on your desires, on what you want, you can begin to develop a plan. You need clarity on what you want in order to strategize the course of action you need to take to make your desires become reality.
When you think about what you want in life, don’t stay too long in your head. Be sure to ask your heart what it wants and needs to have your best life. Once you are clear, you have a choice.
You can do nothing or you can do something, but doing nothing will get you nothing.
Or you can make the decision to take action in the direction of your dreams. Plan a course of action in incremental steps with each step taking you closer to your goal. Even tiny baby steps count – every action doesn’t have to be a marathon. Sometimes just a step outside the front door is enough to get started. Don’t let the length or difficulty of your journey overwhelm you.
Once you start taking action, you will develop momentum, which will keep you moving forward.
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Lao Tzu