Hope Is A Plan

I once had a boss who would use the phrase “Hope is not a plan” (this is the same person who would also say “Perception is reality” so there’s your point of reference). My boss was wrong, hope is a plan (and perception is not reality). OK, it’s not the whole plan, but any plan that begins without hope and positive thinking is doomed to failure, and as we finish this week’s theme of positive thinking we’ll look at how it all ties together.

As we have looked at earlier this week, positive thinking isn’t enough for us to achieve our goals, but it is the critical component in helping us to meet our goals. Hoping to get rich by winning the lottery is not a plan. Well, I suppose technically it is, but it isn’t one that has much chance of being successful. There are two parts to this formula though, both equally important in helping us shape our future.

On the on hand we have allowed hope and positivity to become wishy-washy. “I hope I win the lottery”, “I hope I meet someone and fall in love”, “I hope I am able to make enough money from writing about subjects I am passionate about to live on my own schedule,” and so on. Hope isn’t spaceology. Hope is active, real, focused, and is the fuel that keeps us going. If we believe that positive thinking is enough to make the world a better place we are on a very fast path to becoming jaded and disappointed.

Although a plan without positive thinking is doomed to failure, we must build the plan and work it through. Any athlete or coach who doesn’t believe they will achieve their goals has already lost the game. Failure to believe success is possible will shape preparation for the game ahead, and the preparation will be based on damage limitation, not winning.  One of the most high-profile examples of this came from David Moyes when he took over at Manchester United. Ex-United player, Rio Ferdinand had this to say “We played first not to get beat, then to see what we could get from the game. Before we were always on the front foot. That mindset came from being an Everton manager.” Success, and a high level of performance depend on positive thinking and belief. Without the belief we won’t direct our energies efficiently, and as a consequence the results we want to see won’t follow.

Hope was minimal during that time, and the results reflected this. Sadly, the same defence first tactics are

Here are the three takeaways for today:

1 – Don’t ever believe the lie that hope isn’t a plan. If you are building your plan and you don’t have hope, seriously question what you are doing and why.

2 – Set your goals realistically. If you want to win the lottery jackpot you have to put the odds in your favour and buy a ton of tickets (I am not advocating this, it’s a REALLY bad plan). Think about your goals and what you need to do to achieve them.

3 – Never neglect hope, but don’t forget the place it holds. Positive thinking is the tool to keep you taking one more step, and if a challenge presents itself, positive thinking is the fuel that keeps you pushing on.

Positive thinking is a critical component in our plan for success. It’s the spark that ignites us and gives us the momentum to keep pushing when challenges arise. Positive thinking doesn’t bring results but it is the belief and motivation behind the behaviours that bring the results we want to see.

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