- Thoughts for inspired living

October 16, 2009


Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:46 am

In the past, I have not been a big fan of hope. I had it in the class of softer spoken snake oil. You may say that in the case of hope, I was hopeless.

That has changed for me as I begin to see hope in a different light. The light I can never see it in is the one where, because we have a specific thought in our head and really want it to happen, it will cause the result we are hoping for. That’s the couch potato’s daydream. There is no real effort in that hope and the odds of it happening are hopeless.

Then I discovered a brand of hope I could buy into. It’s certainly not the mainstream version, but now I can honestly say, “I have hope.”

Here’s my version in a nutshell: Hope is a mental framework from which to operate – nothing else. Therein lies its power.

It finally hit me that hope and optimism are identical twins when viewed from a specific angle. I already had this angle of view on optimism; all I had to do was transfer it to hope.

Optimism, for me, is not positive thinking. I believe that’s as fruitless as the garden variety hope.

Optimism is a strategy that produces measurable results – not necessarily the ones you were hoping for, but more than you get from positive thinking.

Here’s the rub: Hope and positive thinking have a specific result in mind. When you only have one option, your odds are severely diminished.

When you are optimistic, your tunnel vision goes away and you get to see more of the playing field. You are not optimistic for a specific outcome, you are just optimistic. Think of a quarterback. He calls a pass play in the huddle. Most pass plays have options. If the first receiver isn’t open, then he looks to the second, and then the third, and then the running back. If he’s locked in on one guy, he’ll miss seeing all the other options.

When you train yourself to be optimistic, you begin to see options that traditional hope and positive thinking miss. Their scope is too narrow.

The person who employs hope and positive thinking is really a pessimist. They are looking for something to chase their pessimism away. It may work for awhile, but pessimism is like a dog on a meat wagon. It’s coming back for more.

I’m not attempting to dash anyone’s hopes, just expand them.

Your chances of getting what you hope for increase when you let go of the specific outcome that must happen. Replace that specific desire with optimism.

Optimism creates possibilities; hope and positive thinking diminish them.

Optimism is a mindset where you trust your ability to respond to reality. This mindset creates a series of options. You let go of all trust and all the possibilities it presents when you pin all your hopes on one positive outcome.

Any woman who has ever had a list can appreciate what I’m talking about. The “list” contains the qualifications a man must have before she will entertain having a serious relationship with him. What are the odds of finding that man? Just notice that when the man who captures your heart comes along, he’s missing many things that were on the list. That’s when you gave up hoping and started to respond to reality. You could have never hoped your way to this man because in doing so, you would have missed seeing this option.

I’m optimistic that this makes sense to you.

All the best,




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