Kevin Hellriegel's Blog of Worthless Advice

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Hope versus Optimism in relationship to Change

What is hope compared to optimism in the context of change? Both are important and should be part of everyday living. Hope is the belief that things will get better while optimism is the belief that things will change and that change will be for the better. These terms are often used interchanged with each other leading to confusion. While very similar, they are not quite the same. You can have hope, but you don’t have be optimistic if you don’t want to be. You can have hope and be a realist as well. And you can also have hope and be a pessimistic (which seems to defeat the purpose of believing in hope it would seem).

I have hope that things will change and I am optimistic they will change. Hope is my underlying belief that things will get better. Optimism is my belief that things will get better without making any changes because optimism believes that when change comes, it will be the favorable outcome I desire. When you are at the bottom, hope is one of the first things that you need to get out of that hole. Which train of thought you choose: optimistic, realistic, or pessimistic, will determine how the outcome will be perceived by you.

Optimism is your belief that things will get better without the changes needed to get better. One could say they are optimistic about making more money yet they continue down the same path of economic ruin. Hope would kick in when they hit rock bottom.

Realism allows us to believe in hope and keep things in perspective. We know we probably aren’t going to win the lottery, yet we also know that hard work will usually bring the results we desire.

Pessimism assumes the worst and hope is just there for something to believe in. Why be pessimistic? Good question!

People might argue that being hopeful and optimistic about the future is a waste of time, people don’t change, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, etc. I have hope that people will change for the better yet I have been too optimism in my belief that they will change. I have leaned towards being too optimism because I haven’t been there to help them make the change for the better.

How can I expect people to change if I don’t make the effort to help them change?

If the change is important to me, why not make the time to help with this change?

If you are like everyone else, your life is busy and you don’t have the time to help other change. I know my life is busy and I don’t have time to do a lot of things I want to do much else do things to help others change. I also don’t what to think of about having to put in the time and effort necessary to help them make the change. I really don’t want to worry about their problems and I don’t want to be bothered.

Seriously, I want to be the person that doesn’t care. My wife probably thinks that I am that person already. I know people need my help, but I honestly don’t want to put the effort into helping them when I know that they should be able to help themselves. I have enough problems in my own life I should be working on without having to add other people’s problems to my own life.

Nevertheless, I am not able to take the head in the sand approach to life. Oh, the burdens of adulthood! Yes, life is hard. You have to do a lot of stuff you don’t want to do. I must accept this and move on. I will do the best I can and use my belief in hope to help solve my problems as well as the others I love help themselves. I will use hope and be optimistic (with a dose of realism added in) in regards to the future.

Hope: the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best: to give up hope.

Optimism: a disposition or tendency to look on the more favorable side of events or conditions and to expect the most favorable outcome.

Definitions are from


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