We all know the value of “hope” for our morale. But what is its true value? What makes hope so important and “hopeless” so dangerous when it comes to solving problems or completing tasks. I view hope as “motivation”. That which encourages and supports action, especially when effort toward a difficult goal is needed. Hope is courage. Hope is future oriented and research has confirmed that the more successful among us at accomplishing goals are naturally future-oriented. As an invaluable source of motivation, hope spurs us forward.
By comparison, what happens to your forward momentum when the possibility of reaching a goal does not seem possible? No matter how hard you try your efforts will not be successful. “Spinning your wheels” perseverance will only burn you out. You lose confidence in the outcome of your efforts or pursuit of desires. Action becomes inaction and passivity. And hopelessness takes over, deteriorating our morale and our actions. Depression can set in.
Finally, what do we do then with unreachable but important goals? We “accept” reality, leading to a kind of peace that hopelessness can never provide. Do not take it personally or “make it about you”. We then redirect our efforts back to the possible and continue our trek forward toward new goals. Self control is then enhanced and a new energy can emerge.
Th Serenity Prayer is a simplified version of my thoughts above.
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.