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The Lucilius Parables, Volume I


May 28th, 2021


The endeavours of efforts that we embark upon come with a slippery trap: the hope that our efforts will succeed.  For the person who has taken a shot a many projects, the sting of failure dulls, and expectations temper.  We learn that there are far more factors that lead to success than are in our control, and regardless of how much we try it’s these unknown factors that can make the ideal outcomes of our dreams sink or soar.


For someone who has failed a lot, it can be a bit of mantra to remember that there’s no telling how things will pan out, and that failure is a reasonable and often realistic expectation to nurture.  This might sound defeatist, but the alternative is a far more destructive experience: hitching up all your hope on one aim and then being overwhelmed by crushing disappointment when it doesn’t happen.  Tempering hopeful expectations is simply an efficiency strategy.  If that crushing disappointment when something doesn’t go as hoped can be averted, than our recovery time is far shorter, we can get back to work and take another swing far sooner than if we have to wait for a devastating funk to pass.


But even the most seasoned failure who keeps trying harbours hope.  It’s unavoidable, because without that inkling of hope, we’d never try anything.  Wrapped up in that ideally small kernel of hope is the notion that something new might actually, just actually, work out.  We have to hope because of those unknown factors that we can’t see, anticipate, and take into consideration.  In this context, hope is the notion that despite what we can’t know, something might actually succeed.


It’s this small kernel of hope that creates the ups and downs of any entrepreneurial adventure.  As our efforts come into contact with unknown factors the fall out, the result of those numerous experiments are ripe for emotional resonance.  How we respond to unexpected results is likely the biggest factor in determining whether or not our vision will ever come to fruition.  The ability to pivot with new information is everything.


But still, there’s that pesky hope, constantly trying to grow, feeding on your ideas, your creativity, your plans and fantasy outcomes.  Hope is like a flame, and if it is given too much it will spread and destroy you.  Think for a moment about how fire exists in modern society.  It’s cloistered in fire places, bottled up in the piston cylinders of car engines and for the most part highly controlled.  But society probably wouldn’t exist had it not been for the discovery and use of fire.  Hope is like fire.  Keep is small.  Keep it contained.  But don’t let it go out.

Check out the Tinkered Thinking   Reading List

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Podcast Ep. 1139: Helplessly Hopeful

Tinkered Thinking

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