Hope is a complicated feeling
It can keep you going through tough times, a ray of light behind the clouds to hint at a brighter future. It helps you to overcome obstacles and learn the painful lessons that lie on the path to your goal. Your belief in your hope inspires others to believe in their dreams – it is contagious, and one of the most uplifting feelings that you can experience.
However, not wanting to burst the bubble, when hope is irrational, it can also be one of the most limiting feelings that you can experience. It can hold you back at the vital moment when you need to change something, and paralysis can swiftly ensue. Just crossing your fingers and hoping for the best makes you feel good, but sometimes, unless you act to make things happen, your desired outcome is unlikely to come to pass.
Hope is not a strategy when something needs to change
Don’t get me wrong, persistence and hope are still the source of much that is good in the world. However, after a certain number of attempts, when persistence seems to be failing, experimentation has to kick in.
Edison famously invented the light bulb after 10,000 “successful failures.” I might doubt the number involved, but I don’t doubt that he made slight changes to the formula after a few attempts at each iteration. He might have sat in his lab, crossing his fingers for every individual attempt, but it won’t have been his only strategy. It was a scientific certainty that if he tried for long enough, in enough different ways, that he would eventually achieve success. He did.
So, in short, I agree that there is virtue in “try, try and trying again” but the wisest people understand the point when the same action is not going to bring about a different result.
It takes real courage to abandon hope in a certain direction and place your hope in a new one. When you have done this (successfully) a few times, you realise that changing the focus of your hope does not make it any less powerful – with every “new” hope, your resolve becomes stronger.
The danger of hope is when it becomes tired and weak. That is when hope can become destructive. If you have spent years “hoping” for a certain outcome, but never changing anything to make it happen, it can have a knock-on effect on the rest of your life. You stop believing in hope altogether, and the other areas of your life start to suffer. A person with no hopes and dreams lives a life of emptiness.
Every now and again, I see a candidate come into the room who is obviously on the verge of giving up. They have often been “hoping” for too long, but not doing enough about it. I try to help them with a different course of action.
In a job search, as in life, you have to invest your hopes wisely.
Written by Lee Narraway and Edited by Paul Drury
If you would like to discuss this then please get in touch with me and leave your comments: