Tiny Wisdom: When It’s Time to Stop Hoping

“The natural flights of the human mind are not from pleasure to pleasure but from hope to hope.” -Samuel Johnson

You’ll find lots of inspiring posts that suggest you hold onto hope against all odds and push through difficult times with your eye on a light down the road. This isn’t one of them. Sometimes hope is a beautiful thing. It can motivate, empower, and inspire you when you’re tempted to give up. But other times it just keeps you stuck.

When you push through today for a better tomorrow, without doing anything to create that new possibility, your hope creates the illusion of change to come.

When you hold onto the past, hoping to revive a relationship, situation, or time that’s come and gone, your hope precludes even better possibilities in the present.

When you hope you’ll someday know happiness—when you get the right relationship, the right job, the right adventure—your hope allows you to avoid reality. And it makes it unlikely that you’ll ever know happiness since hope for something else is the only way you know to experience it.

We all want to feel happy. We all want to avoid feeling pain. That’s what makes hope so exciting. It divorces us from the moment and projects us immediately into something better.

It allows us the freedom to close our eyes and imagine a world far better than the one we think we know. Hope is comforting, but not always empowering. Hope may give you possibilities in tomorrow, but belief gives you possibilities now.

When you believe you can be happy regardless of what you gain or achieve, you open your eyes and find reasons to feel and share joy.

When you believe you can have something better, you take responsibility for creating it, starting in this moment.

When you believe you’re complete, even if you don’t feel good in any given moment, you challenge yourself to think beyond your emotions, and remember the larger picture.

You can hope yourself into a corner, waiting for tomorrow to improve. Or you can believe your way onto center stage, and create that tomorrow you want. It starts right now.

Photo by reggie35

About Lori Deschene

Lori Deschene is the founder of Tiny Buddha. She started the site after struggling with depression, bulimia, c-PTSD, and toxic shame so she could recycle her former pain into something useful and inspire others do the same. She recently created the Breaking Barriers to Self-Care eCourse to help people overcome internal blocks to meeting their needs—so they can feel their best, be their best, and live their best possible life. If you’re ready to start thriving instead of merely surviving, you can learn more and get instant access here.

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