The Hopeless Nature Of Hoping

“You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end — which you can never afford to lose — with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality.”

– Vietnam War. Admiral James Stockdale 

Do you want to know the one reason you’re not happy right now? 

It’s because you’re hoping for something different. 

It’s as simple as that. 

By wishing for something different your perception of what reality should be crashes against what is. This friction is the source of all your suffering. 

You cannot alter reality. Only your perception of it, your acceptance of it.

Reality is perfectly happy being the fucked up place it is because it can’t be anything else.

It was just as fucked before you were born as it will be the day after you die. 

Stop hoping for something different. 

Either Act Or Accept.

These are far better choices than hoping.

Do you want to know why you’re in the mess that you are?

It’s because you were sold a dummy by a society that has glorified hope. With the movies and TV shows you watch. The super hero who swoops in to save the day at the final hour. You cling to that, waiting for your knight in shining armour to save you.

It’s true to say hope can serve as temporary relief from your current pain, but that’s about all one can say. 

Do you know what else achieves the same? 

Taking drugs. Drinking alcohol. Binge watching NETFLIX. 

How have those things worked out for you in the past?

What has hope really done for you?

It’s another form of avoidance, of distraction. 

What happened to your hope when coronavirus fucked up all your plans last year? What happened to your hope when governments repeatedly failed you?

Is hope going to get us out of this mess?

No.

Fuck hope. 

You’re the super hero of your own reality. You control yourself, your thoughts and the way you look at the world. 

Fuck hope. 

Hope is an excuse not to do what you can.

Hope is an excuse to say these problems are beyond you, to say they are beyond all of us.

Hope is saying all will be ok when I die and go to heaven. 

Fuck hope. 

Hope is what led you to hopelessness when the world didn’t live up to your expectations. 

And let me tell you, living in hopelessness is an equally terrible place because that isn’t based in reality either. 

Act or Accept. 

Those are your choices.

I’ll say one more thing before I wrap up.

Giving up hope isn’t about being overly pessimistic – it’s about coming back to reality and seeing it for what it is. 

Hopelessness is being overly pessimistic.

If you have clothes on your back, food on the table and a roof over your head. If you can breathe…!

I’d say there is more right with you than not.

The best things in life haven’t changed because you lost your job or your wife left you.

Taking a shit or having a wank is just as wonderful with zero dollars in the bank as it is with billions (sorry, I meant feeling the cool breeze on your skin or listening to the birds chirping in the morning – yeah those things too).

Will this message inspire you in some way?

Who knows.

All I can do is my best to reinforce the narratives that help me and see if it helps others.

Maybe it will, maybe it won’t.

Either way, I’m not holding onto any hope.


(Thanks for reading ladies and gentlemen. I hope (ha) you enjoyed it. I’ll let you in on a little secret. Sometimes I take an extreme position on a topic simply to challenge myself (and you) to think differently, even if I don’t agree with the argument. Do I really think that hope is such a terrible emotion? No, of course not. Hope is a very important emotion designed to inspire action. But here is what I did take from this post – hope must be tied to action otherwise it’s dangerous. Hoping for things out of your control (as I learnt the hard way this past year) is truly awful for your mental health. Hope only for yourself, for the things that you can control. And then take action to make it so. For everything else you can’t control – I suggest you practise acceptance instead. With that said I’m curious what your thoughts are on the topic of hope? As always I welcome ALL comments and opinions. Wishing you well, AP2 🙏)

***

You can see find more of AP2’s nonsensical world views and poor self-help advice here at: https://pointlessoverthinking.com

34 thoughts on “The Hopeless Nature Of Hoping

  • Hope is just another emotion with no real basis in the outside world. Hope may be an evolutionary human trait evolved for the survival of our species. A sort of — mental pacifier in times of distress. Now more an advertised hook for consumerism, story-tellers and self-proclaimed health Gurus.

    And politicians of course, who sell it to us like invisible candy. Speaking of politicians? My Biggest “Hope!” is that they all suddenly catch fire and disappear from the face of the Earth forever. Now that is Hope well spent! Be Well alias plane flyer! I enjoyed your post!

    Liked by 5 people

    • Haha agreed! Politicians are the ones who prey on people’s false hope. They use it to gain power by promising the world and then blame everyone else when they can’t. Hoping for the best in others is dangerous for exactly this reason. Interesting point about survival. I always suspected it’s the optimists who die first. Believing in yourself is important but not at the expense of confronting your current reality. Hope must inspire action otherwise it’s dangerous. I’m glad you enjoyed my post. I enjoyed your input!

      Liked by 4 people

  • You have offered a fresh perspective on my understanding of hope. Though I am not completely against having hopes, but one has to be very careful as it takes no time for a person to cross the line between being realistic and developing unrealistic expectations. A very well thought post. Really opened my mind. Thank you for sharing

    Liked by 3 people

    • This makes me so happy! It’s exactly what I’m hoping to achieve through my blog. I want to challenge beliefs not change them. I want to start conversations so all of us can learn something. I’m not against having hope either – I simply want to make people aware of how dangerous it can be. Hope must inspire action. Otherwise it can lead to the opposite. Thanks for your kind words!

      Liked by 3 people

  • I enjoyed this post I had to re read it again. Yeah, hope is over sold to us like it’s a magical cure. It’s become a delusion. We can hope all we want but we should also know what we are hoping for might never come that’s just how reality is.
    You really challenge my think and for that I am thankful.
    BTW Nominated you as one of the best blogs I know check out the blog post if you get the time.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Excellent. Well written. I love the quality of “embrace the suck.” Don’t waste trouble by smoking the narcotic of hope. Hope is simply a bright gaze into the future, and the present is the perpetual, prescient remembrance confluence of the past in memory and the future in dreams coming together. It’s better to make diamonds of misfortune wise in time with action in the moment… for it is always the moment. Might as well start now, start to finish.

    Excellent post. Excellent use of the word ‘fuck.’ It’s not an easy one to use in a breadth and substantial way, though you have. Nodding a big Yes to this post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Jordan. You said it very well! Now is what we must first deal with/come to terms with. Believe in yourself to overcome and deal with your current adversity. Don’t hope for things out of your control to come to your rescue. Concentrate on your own circle of control and ignore the rest.

      I’m glad you appreciate my attempts at using the word fuck – I try to use it somewhat carefully – either to emphasise/express or make a point. People argue that swearing demonstrates a poor grasp of the English language – I say that’s balderdash. Swear words have a certain power that others don’t simply because they’re considered taboo. People also forget to that writing is a form of expression – that’s what I’m doing. It comes from the gut.

      Thanks Jordan – I appreciate your comments. Wishing you well 🙏

      Liked by 1 person

      • Agreed, indeed, on expletives. Taboo and forbidden fruit don’t interest me. Expletives have a power. Taboos and forbidden fruit are usually just tricksters that are actually ‘X’ marks the spot where the treasures of the good stuff is hidden.

        Liked by 1 person

  • “Taking a shit or having a wank is just as wonderful with zero dollars in the bank as it is with billions” – I agree with the second part of that, but not with the first. I’ve been in some pretty gnarly bathrooms back in my travelling days.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks piyush – I think we place far too much hope on things out of control and don’t spend nearly enough time concentrating on what we can. Hope is meant to be for you! For you to become better / to improve. It’s by taking action that you generate more hope from the fruits of your labour. If you hope for things out of your control then I believe you’re playing a dangerous game. Thanks for sharing your thoughts again Piyush 🙏

      Liked by 1 person

  • I really did enjoy the post (smiling) Act or Accept is my mantra .I can’t be miserable for too long.Hope is a powerful emotion It keeps us going specially when times are tough but it is dangerous without reality check.Just hoping that things will change or get better without acting will not change anything.Being hopeful gives you courage and motivation to achieve and perform.

    “Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops at all.” – Emily Dickinson

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love that Emily Dickinson quote. Thank you for sharing it! And thank you for comments. Not only will hoping without acting not change anything it’s dangerous because of things get worse you’ll end up feeling hopeless. That’s a much harder hole to climb out of. I believe hope must be tied to action for that reason. Thanks again. Wishing you well. 🙏

      Liked by 1 person

  • True, hope should be tied to some action otherwise it might mislead. But on the other hand, I believe hope is the fuel that feeds faith so in a way its an action step on its own. Maybe we should just be realistic in what we are hoping for?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree Kevin. Hope has everything to do with expectations. Setting hope for oneself to overcome and persevere. To succeed. Very important. But those hopes need to be realistic and you must take action otherwise it can quickly turn into a sense of hopelessness and despair. Hoping for outcomes beyond our control is dangerous in my book for this reason. Act with hope about what you can control and accept what you cannot is perhaps a better way to phrase it.

      I should say I sometimes write to challenge myself to think differently and in order to generate debate by assuming a position I don’t completely agree with. This post being but one example.

      Thanks so much for stopping by and adding your valuable insights. Really appreciate it🙏

      Liked by 1 person

      • Welcome. I relate with you on writing to grow and challenge your perception. I do the same I found it to be a great avenue to learn, read more and adopt new beliefs that are empowering replacing the old limiting habits.

        Liked by 1 person

  • Awesome post. Hope is a word that’s laced with negativity. If you don’t like your situation, instead of sitting around hoping, and worse- wishing, get proactive and begin putting in the grueling work to change your situation. Thank you so much for posting.

    Liked by 1 person

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