We live in anticipation. The worker who looks forward to a vacation is probably far happier and more productive than one who toils away without the slightest carrot of free time dangling in their future.
Without lying to ourselves, how do we unlock the treasure of hope (of more time, more freedom, and other imagined scenarios, etc.) without forcing it? Hope is a survivalist’s edge, an act of active revenge against reality. It sees the world for all its doom yet remains wide-eyed to know that bad times don’t last forever.
On the other hand, doubt is a disease that inhibits our perception of the world. It wants us to play it safe, do nothing, or persist through hell on a slow downward grind. Thankfully, the emotional muscle grows resilient to attacks of uncertainty and pessimism over the years.
Experience teaches patience; the results take time when we’re trying to live up to our expectations. So we treat failures as lessons in disguise and take the small wins as they come. While as plastic as it is, hope offers something even if our eyes fail to see it.