We undoubtedly see hope as being a positive feeling. And I can clearly see why. Hope gives us strength to endure situations otherwise would be unbearable. It gives us reason to continue and is a warm and comforting feeling.
Like some feelings though hope can be a boundary to our potential. It can blind us from seeing other possibilities, or solutions to the problem we are facing. Hope can trap you into spending too much or not enough time and energy for a cause that might not produce what is expected.
I’ve been pondering a lot about hope lately, we all have an understanding. But what is it really?
The closer I could get is “The feeling we have when expecting a desired outcome to happen”.
This means that hope and expectation are closely tied. This is why I believe hope can be traitorous sometimes. Expectations are often limiting. While someone expects an outcome, good or bad, he will put his creativity and imagination at rest.
It seems to me that when we expect something, we get the feeling that new actions are not going to affect the outcome, and we either keep on doing what we used to or wait.
I also feel that we lose our sense of wonder and curiosity while expecting for a particular outcome. And the more we “narrow down” our expectations the less creative we get.
So hoping for an one particular outcome essentially brings our creativity to a near stop.
We have an unlimited imagination, which is accessed by our limited focus, and when we narrow down our focus to a desired outcome, we lose a part of our imagination. We are missing all these wonderful and mysterious notions our minds could produce. It is like we are in this wonderful forest following a certain path, but never think of exploring the woods. Maybe something awesome is there, we can never know.
While the boundaries set by hope to our imagination and creativity could be enough to make us consider limiting our expectations. Hopeful expectations hide another “trap”, the potential disappointment. When someone has his hopes set up high, he might get disappointed and discouraged when they are not met. And he could drift to another form of expectation. Despair.
When desperate, our expectations are the worst possible, the most undesirable. We feel our actions will not have any positive effects on the outcome or a negative one. Which means we are not only blocking our mind with our expectations, but we are also blocking it with fear. And worse we are not even enjoying the process.
This is where hope shines. Hope essentially shields us from the feeling of despair, that is why hope is cherished and loved, and for a good reason, despair is one of the worst and most unrewarding feelings.
But why not avoid expectations altogether. We can use our focus to explore our minds, and the world around us, not our desires and fears. We do not have to constantly evaluate what is going to happen, it is sometime better to just be, to enjoy the environment, explore the options, and then look at how at things unfold, without the expectations.
I sometimes say to myself “No hope, No expectations, No limitations”.
Of course we can’t and should not avoid expectations altogether, not only coupled with logic they create science, in our daily lives we take actions because we expect them to do something, we expect them to make a change in the world we interact with. Without them the wold would be still.
But we need to accept that hope is a psychological tool, to help us endure situations and comfort us. And expectations is just that… Expectations not reality.