Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Difference Between Hope and Expectation

Growing up and in life now as an adult, we hear sayings or statements that are designed and intended to create teachable moments. Words people deliberately speak in a certain order to make the most impact possible. We hear about the early bird getting the worm or what you sow so shall you reap; all the best to remind us how we are supposed to embody goodness and wholesomeness in our lives. I totally get it.

But there is one statement that people might not have heard before that I believe is a legitimate teachable moment. Words that I listened to my father link together my whole life; words that can be looked upon as harsh or vulgar, but are poignant none the less.

If you are one to shudder at the use of curse words, I might advise you to click away. Today, I am going to repeat a statement that taught me why it is important to look beyond the powerlessness of hope.

Now hold on—let me give you the statement and explain the metaphoric lesson in it, then if it’s crap click away and live the way you’ve been livin’.



Vulgar right? Well to some maybe. But let’s look beyond the word shit, and put anything tangible in its place.

I understand the importance of wishing when you believe you don’t have any control of your life. You can sit around all day, every day hoping and praying for a job, dreaming of the day someone will walk up to you and offer you a job. Wouldn’t that be nice, but I can almost bet, it will never happen because hope and wishes are born from the belief that there is a possibility it won’t happen.

There is a difference between Expectation and Hope—a BIG difference. When one hopes for something they believe there is a chance it won’t come to be; while when one expects, there is only the belief that it is done.

Hey I know this is gritty but it is time I got a little gritty. Look at it this way, when you go to take a bath, or turn on the sink do you hope the water will turn on; or do you expect it to flow? We don’t go around flicking on light-switches with the hope they’ll work. We know they work. That is the difference between hopes and expectations.

Now if we can expect light-switches to work, water to run, and gravity to hold us to the earth, why can’t we expect peace in our world, prosperity to flow in our lives and health to be our normal every day? Just because we can’t see it, doesn’t mean we can’t expect it. When we fill our hands with expectations instead of hope we watch them overflow with possibilities of greatness and the opportunities of demonstrating everything we desire. But we mustn’t hope, we must know.

We would never look at a child with a dream of becoming a dancer and tell them to stop dreaming. So let’s not confuse the ideas of dreams with hopes. They are two different thoughts. Dreams ignite the spark of thoughts that produce expectations. Hope gives us an escape route. There is nothing more powerful than a made up mind. 

Look back at examples in your life where you expected success in your life. Then think back at the times you hoped for something to happen. Let’s face it we really don’t need the naysayers in the world to cut us off at the knees; because the doubting voices in the back of our heads seem to be doing a bang up job.

You want your life to be different? Start coming from expectations instead of hope. Want to have a baby, go out buy the car seat and put it in your car. You want to be a writer, write that book and learn how to become published. Want to lose that weight, walk everyday and expect results. You gotta know you deserve it. Know it is your right—expect it to be so and don’t let any thoughts derail your intentions.

It isn’t miracles that are happening while you’re hoping for change; it’s your demonstrations showing up because you expected them to.

Thanks for reading!


  1. This post is beautiful. I really enjoyed reading it. Thank you. :)

  2. Thank you littlecaramelflan, I am really glad it moved you enough to comment. Sometimes when I post I wonder if people are reading, thanks for the reassurance what I'm saying isn't just me rambling into the vacuous interwebs!

  3. Thanks Gretchen
    I searched for your exact title and your article hit the nail on the head!
    Now I will live more in expectation not hope!

  4. Anonymous...I am so glad you found my words helpful.

  5. Thank you Gretchen, great post and exactly what I was looking for for today and the rest of my days ;)Be blessed. V

    1. V, You are so welcome! This happens to be one of my favorite posts. Even though I wrote it, I find that I keep going back and getting inspiration from it too! Thank you for stopping by the blog!

      With Gratitude,

  6. This is just perfect Gretchen! Thank you for sharing this wisdom with us!

    1. A. L. So glad you liked it...<3 that we are friends!