Okay, I want to begin with a warning. This is the second in a series of articles on optimism and happiness, and how we can achieve our goals and really live our dreams.
However, this article will not appear to be about optimism initially. Keep reading please, as it is critical to get that this concept of false hope destroys dreams, and undermines any chance of real happiness.
So…what is “false hope?”
“False hope” refers to our tendency to generate (shallow) hope that we can change our life or change a habit or reach a goal…despite a track record of failure. We falsely fantasize that things will change, when history shows repeated failure after failure.
We want to believe that we can change things, but yet we keep making the same mistakes…over and over…and hold onto “false hope” that this time…it will be different. It’s almost a delusional process, except that WE ALL DO IT at some time in our lives.
With false hope, we can “fool ourselves” into believing that we are actually going to make a change…when reality says that it won’t work. Please keep in mind: You can achieve anything you want…if you have clarity about how to use your brain…to really get change!
But mostly, it looks like this:
* “False hope” occurs when we go on our 27th diet, and feel certain that this will be the one. And…we do nothing to really change our patterns!
* “False Hope” occurs when we yell at our kids to get them to respond, and believe that one-day they will eventually “get it”. Yet, we find ourselves yelling more and more as time goes on, and we never pause to examine this.
* “False hope” occurs when we set a goal to learn a new skill, and even write down our goal, but fail to commit to a daily action plan. We never devote the energy and resources to mastering the process of “goal getting” rather than just dreaming.
* “False hope” occurs when we express our desire to travel and get to know the world, but never explore anything outside our comfort zone.
* “False hope” occurs when we talk about our dreams, and think that this will magically change our lives.
Bottom Line: “False hope” is the ultimate tool of deception.
It allows us to (temporarily) believe that casually setting a goal or resolution will somehow magically produce a significant change in the future.
We “grab hold” of a future dream, such as keeping our cool, getting a better job, starting a business, buying some investments, writing a book, losing weight, stopping an addiction, or learning healthier behavior… and yet we set ourselves up for failure by refusing to examine our past failures, and to see that a better course of thought and action is needed.
“False hope” occurs as we continue to “hope” that things will get better, in spite of the ongoing, repeated daily reality that argues that our focus remains on the negative as we ignore our blessings.
“False hope” continues to occur when we do not develop a reality-based plan that begins to produce some change in that behavior.
“False hope” continues to occur when we don’t hold ourselves accountable to come up with some change in action that would actually have an impact on the goal we are pursuing.
“False hope” continues to occur when we live in a world of fantasy, rather than reality. What is needed is simply to WAKE UP and embrace what is not the fantasy about what one “hopes” will happen.
“False hope” is not all that difficult to change…
How do we get out of this sickness of “False Hope”?
Step into reality! (Caution: This could be a bit painful.)
Look back at your previous goals. Simply turn around, and review the past year. What has your behavior been like? What has worked for you?
What is your history when you have started to pursue your dreams? What is your track record of success?
Be real about this now. The best predictor of your future behavior is your past behavior.
I can even be more accurate here…“The best predictor of your future experiences will be your past experiences.”
(I am not saying this because I am a pessimist. I am expressing this because I really want to encourage you (only if you need it…or want it…of course) to awaken from this toxic seductive tendency.
Many of you may have seen, or heard about, the movie called “The Secret.” I will be talking more about this over the days ahead, but for now, please understand that you can unlock the Law of Attraction in your home only when you step out of the false hope syndrome.
Why? Because false hope allows you to think that the same focus (that didn’t work), the same commitment (that didn’t get you there), the same resolve (that quickly surrendered to a challenge), and the same approach (that failed time and again)…WILL SUDDENLY START WORKING THIS TIME!
Step into reality! And out of “false hope.”
The best way to step into reality is to simply take the thoughts and behavior you have demonstrated in the past and project them into the future. Do so without magically adding behavior that isn’t there. “False hope” is present anytime you begin to think ideas like…
…it will be easier this time
…I’ll have more time in the future
…once I get started, this will get easier
…if I just talk about it…it will happen
Perhaps the most devastating of all the ideas reflecting “false hope” is the fantasy where I believe that relatively little effort produces significant results. This is the epitome of “false hope”.
* False hope will rob you of your dreams.
* False hope will squash your enthusiasm.
* False hope will destroy your future success.
You probably get that by now. This is an easy concept to grasp intellectually. It is a much more difficult concept to come to terms with emotionally and behaviorally. And yet, your happiness and the happiness of your family depends upon relinquishing your attachment to “false hope”.
Instead, step into reality. If it’s not working, it’s not working. The same behavior, repeated over time, will not produce a different outcome.
More importantly, the same thinking, repeated over time, will not produce a better result.
To unlock the “secret” of the law of attraction, we must all be AWARE of what it is we are attracting. False hope just makes us think that it will be different this time, but yet we have limited awareness of what our thoughts and behavior attract to us.
Okay, for today, I ask that you simply take stock.
If you aren’t treating your partner, or your children, or your friends the way you really want, please don’t go down the guilt path. But do take an honest assessment of whether this is what you really want, and whether the same approach will actually bring you any real change.
If your health isn’t where you want it to be, then look at your patterns honestly. No false thinking that magic will intervene. Your thoughts about health, food, and exercise will most accurately predict where you will be in 5 years. Take a look at it. No false thinking…please.
If your children are fighting you over their homework, and they are only in 4th grade, you can’t afford to falsely hope that they will grow into it…without a change in your game plan.
If you find yourself sad or depressed, in spite of a blessed life, then false hope would let you believe a pill will really bring you long-term happiness. It won’t.
I suggest the following: Make a list of two things today…
1. List everything that is working well. Note what you appreciate. List everyone you love. Write down everything that makes you laugh, smile, feel warm and fuzzy, and that you enjoy. Save that for now, but do reflect upon it.
2. List everything that isn’t working (in your story of life). It doesn’t mean others agree. This is just your story of what you want to change or areas of life you want to feel better about.
Beside each and everything on your list, make a note of how false hope has thwarted your goals and aspirations. Where have you allowed yourself to think that the same approach this year would create a better outcome? Where have you indulged thinking that goes in the opposite direction of your dreams? Where do you allow yourself to feel lost without a plan, and yet take no action to get a better plan?
Be painfully honest here. Try to get a clear understanding of where you may have engaged false hope.
Look for my post tomorrow, as we begin to move forward and use this information to blast through old patterns, and open to a world filled with more optimism and happiness. Until then, be well…