If I could send one word to the bin forever it would be ‘hope’.

This is such a negative word, and I’m annoyed at myself for using it just as much as I’m annoyed when other people use it.

I know we all ‘hope’ to do well at a given task, or ‘hope’ our team can win the game, or ‘hope’ to make the meeting, but ‘hope’ is a word that implies you are not working towards a success … ‘

A friend of mine, whenever I try and meet up with him, will say “I hope I’m free’. No, I’ve asked if you’re available, and I’m asking for something that’s weeks, sometimes even months, away. By saying you hope you’ll be free implies you’re not willing to make a commitment and keep that evening/time free for me. Right here, right now, put it in the diary and that’s the day/time we’ll work towards meeting up again. Hope implies it might not happen, that you’ll get a better offer, or that you may change your mind..

If you ask me for a report or an update on something, to say I hope it’ll be ready implies I either don’t want to commit to it being ready in time (in which case I should own this and explain why it may not be ready) or that I don’t want to put the effort in to make it ready in time. Both are probably wrong, but the word ‘hope’ makes this a negative exchange.

Always explain the context about why you ‘hope’ for something – you ‘hope’ you will be ready for the 4:00 PM meeting … because your previous meeting sometimes overruns so you may be a little late. Or that you’re expecting the kids back from school at 4:00 PM and you need to let them in. Or that the plumber is late and, knowing your luck, they’ll arrive spot on when you need to be joining the meeting.

Context. Not hope.

Hope is an expectation based on desire …

Hope implies a lack of control …

Hope implies a lack of planning …

So the next time you hear yourself begin a sentence with those two words, “I hope,” take a moment to think about how you would finish that sentence if you started it with “I plan.” Doing so will switch your mindset back to a state of control, allowing you to approach situations with the proper plan to achieve your goals.

The One Word You Need to Stop Using Immediately by Inc.

Photo by Jan Tinneberg on Unsplash