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Lions and Tigers and Hope, Oh My!

Very excited to have a dear friend as a guest writer today. Mary Kay is about to go "in the trenches" of divorce. Wishing her peace and thanking her for this great article!

He that lives upon Hope will die fasting.

Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richards's Almanack (1758)

Last night turned out to be one of those nights where thoughts were swirling in my head and I felt compelled to write about something, specifically Hope. The topic came up earlier in the day in a social media group in the form of a question about how one finds Hope again to go on after a loss.

There are many elaborate definitions of Hope all over the internet, but there are several common themes. As a noun, it can be 1) a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen or the feeling that what is wanted or desired can happen or 2) a person or thing around which expectations are centered. As a verb, 1) it means wanting something desired to happen or 2) archaically, it means Trust. It is also commonly used in anticipation of future events and in reference to past events.

Do you see where I’m going with this? If not, read the above Benjamin Franklin quote again. Hope is a feeling, a wish, for something that might happen, or might not, or might have already happened, or not… Let’s break it down.

  1. Hope is a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen or a feeling that what is wanted or desired can happen. Example: That he’ll/she’ll change is my constant Hope. What does this have to do with you? If you have read any of the previous RillPower blogs, by now you realize that you have no control over Hoping for an outcome based on the actions of others. You are in charge of yourself. Period. Stop Hoping and take back your control.

  2. Hope is a person or thing around which exceptions are centered. Example: Getting this new job is my last hope. So that’s it? If you don’t get this new job, then what? You give up? What does that mean; you pack in all in and become homeless, move back in with your parents? What?!? If you don’t get this new job, from my perspective, you reevaluate choices in your current situation so that you can go on, and you keep looking. I was laid off from a job and unemployed for a (scary) period of time in my life. For a while I sat back and Hoped for a new great job, I sure as heck deserved one. I know you will be surprised to hear that a great job didn’t ever fall out of the sky and land in my inbox. I finally had to put some effort beyond Hope into my job search. I renewed old connections with friends, I prayed, I wrote down what I was looking for and repeated it daily. And when I found the job I wanted, I was relentless in pursuing it until it was mine. Hope was irrelevant in my job search.

  3. Hope is wanting something desired to happen. Example: I Hope my favorite team wins the super bowl. Honestly, if you aren’t on the team, you have no control over this. I love baseball and hockey and play into all the ridiculous superstitions too. In 2010, I didn’t wash my NHL playoff shirt as long as my team was winning, but they still lost eventually; my withholding of laundry detergent turned out to not be the key to the Arizona Coyotes winning the Stanley Cup (and the shirt never came totally clean either). The Universe proves over and over again that these silly rituals are not a factor. Even if you are on the team, it is a team effort, and not necessarily all in your hands. Plus, if you actually are on the team, please do more than phone in Hope. Your fans want a win!

  4. Hope is trust. I agree with archaic. Example: I Hope it all works out. That says faith to me, totally different concept than Hope. This is putting your desire in the hands of the Universe to handle to your benefit, which is perfectly ok, but not the same as Hope.

  5. Future Hope. I Hope he will change. I discussed that in #1. It’s out of your hands and you don’t have a crystal ball (if you do, I must be allowed to borrow it!). Center your focus on being the best you that you can be and work to change the things in your life that are in your control.

  6. Past Hope: I had high hopes. And now they are either shattered or they have come true. However it worked out, it is firmly in the past. If you look back, Hope probably isn’t serving you about 50% of the time.

I have long been fascinated by the Schrödinger’s Cat experiment; yes, way longer than my favorite comedy, Big Bang Theory, has been on TV. It is my favorite paradox.

Here is the full link:ödinger%27s_cat

Physics can be divided into two types; classic physics and quantum mechanics. Classic physics explains most physical interactions, like why a ball bounces when it drops. It can also be used to predict physical interactions, like what will happen when you drop a ball. However, there are some physical interactions which it does not explain; for instance, how light can be turned into electricity. Quantum mechanics provides a way for physicists to explain why these things happen.

Schrödinger’s Cat is a thought experiment about quantum physics that Erwin Schrödinger suggested in 1935, in reaction to the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum physics. He designed the experiment to show that this way of thinking about quantum mechanics would lead to absurd situations.

A cat is placed in a room that is separated from the outside world.

A Geiger counter which counts the amount of radioactive decay and a little bit of a radioactive element are in the room. Within one hour, one of the atoms of the radioactive material might decay (or break down because the material is not stable), or it may not.

If the material breaks down, it will release an atomic particle, which will hit the Geiger counter, which will release poison gas, which will kill the cat.

The question now is: at the end of the hour, is the cat alive or dead? Schrödinger says that according to the Copenhagen Interpretation, as long as the door is closed, the cat is dead and alive. There is no way to know until the door is opened. But by opening the door, the person is interfering with the experiment. The person and the experiment have to be described with reference to each other.

By looking at the experiment the person has influenced the experiment.

I Hope (ha!) it’s obvious after all of the above, that Schrödinger's cat is an analogy of your life. Are you content to continue to Hope that the “cat is alive”? Or would you rather influence your journey?

Hope is random at best. It will let you down at least half the time. You are along for its ride;it grants you no influence over that which you desire. Focusing on what you hope for is the same as focusing on what you don’t have. Ins