Hope is the Enemy: Are you a victim of hope and positive thinking? We have all been taught how critical hope is. We all know how important it is to keep our chin up and expect success. I’m here to tell you how that belief might be robbing you of success in business and in life.
You’re probably asking yourself, “Wait… is he really saying what I think he’s saying?” The simple answer is “YES!” Hope really can be the root cause of failure for many of us. Does that mean I’m saying we shouldn’t have hope, but instead we should despair and panic? Of course not.
Let me explain. I’ll start by clarifying my position on hope itself. Hope has many positive benefits for humanity. I’m a big believer in maintaining a positive attitude and a bright outlook on the future. The problem is, if it goes unchecked hope can have some horrific and unattended side-effects.
I’ll start by explaining the obvious. What are the many ways that hope is a good thing for us?
1. Hope is energizing.
2. Hope brings a positive outlook to any situation.
3. Hope keeps us going, even it tough times.
4. Hope feels good.
5. Lack of hope can lead to depression, anxiety and worse.
Hope does a lot of good for those who posses it. So how is hope the enemy? There are many ways in which hope can be the enemy and the eventual cause of failure, including:
1. Hope is Not A Strategy - If you have hope, but don’t take action, you risk failure. Can’t take the “Wait and see how it goes” approach.
2. Hope Pacifies - Hope feels great, which can steal your motivation and lull you into a sense of complacency.
3. Hope is Contagious - Business owners and managers want to instill confidence. That’s natural and wise, just be careful to not create a false sense of security.
4. Hope Blinds - Expecting to beat your competition does not generate the actions required to actually beat your competition. While you sit expectantly awaiting success, your competition is taking action to win.
While there are other ways that hope can be more harmful than helpful the list doesn’t need to continue. All unexpected side-effects of hope lead to the same thing… INACTION. You could say that inaction is the enemy, except that it is often times unchecked hope that creates inaction.
Action is the key to overcoming hope-related blindness and inaction. At the end of the day, ANY action is better than inaction. We will all make mistakes, don’t let hope OR fear keep you from taking action. Taking action will always be better than doing nothing. Let me share two of my favorite quotes on action.
Quote #1: In his phenomenal book “Only the Paranoid Survive” former Intel CEO Andrew Grove said “As we throw ourselves into raw actions, our senses and instincts will rapidly be honed again”. Taking action over and over hones your ability to get better and better about taking the right actions.
Quote #2: My all time favorite… General George S. Patton once said “A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.”
Action is the key. Don’t stress to much about what that action is, just do something. Be anxiously engaged and you will create forward momentum that will lead you to success.
Let me know: Can you think of a time that action could have saved you from a loss or failure? How do you keep yourself from getting stuck in neutral?