Hope is Evil may seem heretical to those who want to install hope in ourselves and in others. Trained in Clinical psychology, with an emphasis in existential philosophy, the installation of hope was something we gave to clients. I now think that was wrong. What I plan to lay out is a more effective way to respond to the daily challenges of our lives.
In Greek mythology, Pandora had a box filled with evils. She curiously open the box and all of the evils flew into the world. As the last evil was to fly out, she slammed the box shut and one evil remained—hope. The evil of hope remains inside us. Well, why is it evil? I think for two reasons. First, you think things are getting better but they’re really not. So its kicking action down the road in the hope that things are going to get better. Nothing is going to get better without your action and attention. Attention—or lack thereof—is the second reason that hope is evil. With all of this hoping—hoping you get out of school in time, hoping the kid will get off drugs, hoping you’ll lose weight, hoping you’ll find that perfect relationship, or that perfect job—instead of actually doing something to fix the issue, your life gets filled with distractions. These distractions anesthetize us to the beauty and action in the world.
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So what’s the choice in lieu of hoping? I believe its planning, acting, taking account of what’s worked or not. Planning, acting, and taking account all sit in Steven Covey’s quadrant II activities. These activities are important and non-urgent.
For all of you students out there, instead of hoping that your chairperson send your revision on time, perhaps send an friendly reminder email of your dissertation schedule (presumably that you and they planned together). Rather than hoping you’ll lose weight, create a healthy meal plan and stick to it. Instead of hoping for a relationship, decide to be the strong, happy, loving person that someone is attracted to and stick around that party instead of running out the door.
You know what you have to do. Here’s to your action!
PS: I know that many of you are hoping you can edit your dissertation by yourself, hoping there are not too many revisions, etc. Take action—a no strings attached 30-minute consult is available in September. Mention Pandora and receive 5% off any of our professional services.