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Published:September 4th, 2005 07:41 EST
Replaces Wishes with Genuine Hope

Replaces Wishes with Genuine Hope

By Terry Sumerlin (Mentor/Columnist)

Customers at J.B’s Barber Shop hope they’ll get a good haircut.  No question about it.  You can tell by the way they talk.  It’s not a wish.  It’s definitely hope.  “What’s the difference?” you ask.  That’s best answered with an illustration.   

Many times I’ve asked Sherry for a new corvette for my birthday. I still don’t have one, but I keep hoping.  I also hope she remembers my birthday.  Of the two, only the latter is legitimate hope.  The other is simply a wish.  With both there is certainly desire.  However, with the corvette there is little expectation.  Yet, desire AND expectation are essential ingredients of hope. 

Conversely, there are some things in life that we expect, but don’t necessarily desire.  At times children expect to be punished, but that certainly isn’t what they desire.  In other words, it’s not something they hope for. The same might be true of an employee.  He might expect to get fired, but that’s not what he wants.

Thus, back to customers at J.B.’s, they seem to desire AND expect a good haircut. Theirs is a realistic form of hope.  Yet, what does all this have to do with Barber-osophy?

It reminds us of something so often forgotten:  we have no right to hope for what we have no right to expect.  Especially is this true regarding success and achievement.

For instance, many hope certain relationships will work out, but have done nothing to see that they do.  They don’t understand that if they keep doing what they’ve been doing they’ll continue getting what they’ve been getting.  In their minds, the problem will somehow solve itself.

Similarly, many hope that someday things will work out for them financially.  But, achievers have a plan and stick with it.  Their desire is strong, so they follow through.  They expect financial security.  Others lack commitment, sacrifice and common sense.  But, they keep hoping (wishing).   

We see the same sort of thinking with businesses and careers.  There are those with goals and dreams.  They plan their work, and work their plan.  They learn, they work, they network, and they persevere.  They guard their reputation and expand their influence.  Others also have dreams, but they never build a foundation under them.  They desire the same things as achievers, but have no right to expect them.  Going the second mile doesn’t mean anything to them.  They’re barely working on the first one.  But, they keep wishing for and talking about success. 

As you can see, the difference in “wish” and “hope” is not mere semantics.  It’s an attitude.  And, attitude, more than anything, else determines for individuals and our country success or failure. 

BARBER-OSOPHY:  Hope is a wish with a solid foundation under it.

Copyright 2005, Sumerlin Enterprises.