The cure for hopelessness isn't hope

Have you ever consoled somebody with “don’t worry, everything will be alright” or “things will workout – don’t give up hope” and felt a sense of utter emptiness in your words, no matter how well intentioned they were? That you were trying to impose a fabricated, highy improbable fairy tale that nobody – not least the person in pain - was buying into?

We’ve all been there. Even looking back on our dark nights of the soul – was it really hope that kept us alive?

Hope is defined as ”the general feeling that some desire will be fulfilled; to intend with some possibility of fulfillment.”

Don’t get me wrong. In the battle between despair and hope, I will fight to death for the latter. They don’t call me an optimist for nothing.  Hope is beautiful, uplifting, inspiring and a mesmerising image of what could be.

However, inherent in the definition of hope is the notion of some nebulous, unpredictable future tense. And this is what makes is so fragile – prone to easily crumbling to the vagaries of our circumstances, thoughts, moods and emotions.

Death to SMART goals

My condolences to the inventor of SMART goals. You know the one who recommended we rally around projects that are Specific, Measurable, Agreed upon, Realistic and Time based?


I can hear all you inspired changemakers shudder in unison.

If human beings only set sight on what they thought was achievable, we’d probably still be huddled around each other (cause even the concept of a fire would have been unrealistic) in a dark cave somewhere, trying to agree upon the words of kumbaya.

It is precisely the act of being completely unreasonable that makes inspired change possible.