One must always have hope. Hope is the driving force behind a meaningful life. We hope to better ourselves and to help others. We hope for things to happen and goals to be achieved.
When we lose hope, we lose our objectives and any chance of succeeding in them. To lose hope is to give up, and stop pursuing what we one believed to be so important. If it turns out your goals weren’t important, or maybe they’re not important anymore, then go ahead and stop pursuing them. But be absolutely sure that you haven’t misinterpreted the situation.
A far too common example of this are overly optimistic people who have been disappointed. Instead of getting back up and trying again, their failure may have been too great for them to endure. They shouldn’t be blamed; while strength is an important virtue, it has to be learned. It is difficult to master and painful to do so. We shouldn’t negatively judge people who do not have the mental or emotional strength to endure pain. But regardless whether you go through the pain of developing mental strength or if you avoid confronting the pain of tragedies in your life, you’re probably going to hurt sooner or later. You can either deal with it on your own terms when you’re prepared to do so, or wait until reality strikes. Cynicism is that response of avoiding the pain of caring. Instead of processing the pain and realising what has happened, you give up hope. You tell yourself it wasn’t meant to be, or that it was a stupid goal to begin with. You make up excuses to stop caring.
But this is emotional delusion. You still care, it’s just easier to pretend you don’t. Eventually that apathy seems real, and you can sort of live with it. But somewhere in the back of your mind, you’re still hurting. If you open up the feelings you’ve locked away, you remember the pain for just a moment before sealing it back up again. You try to block out anything that even remotely reminds you of that event. You quickly superglue the door shut when it starts to open, and as you peer through you recognise the familiar signs. The cogs start to turn and you realise that just incase, you need to initiate an emergency shutdown. Quarantine the pain.
Any goal that is meaningful to you should be pursued. If the benefits outweigh the drawbacks, then it doesn’t matter what the drawbacks are, or how much pain they inflict. Pursue your goals, if they’re worth it then nothing else matters. (Aside from other moral considerations, of course). Don’t lose hope, don’t give up just because it0s hard, or it hurts. Some goals are worth the sacrifices, and arguably those are the most meaningful. The moment we lose hope is the moment we forsake ourselves and what really matters, not because we’re sure it’s no longer worth it, but because we’ve allowed ourselves to be swayed by the moment. Hope isn’t just an emotion, it’s the only logical choice. Someone who’s lost hope has lost everything, and that is truly sad.
When you’re rejected from your top college, or from all your colleges; when you’re rejected from every job you apply for, without even any notice; when your true love is with someone else; hold on to hope. Don’t make unrealistic expectations, don’t sacrifice your own morals and other people, don’t cause more damage than your goal is worth. Let’s be clear: any objective can become unworthy if circumstances change; you have to figure out if the benefits are still worth the sacrifices. But if they are, then maintain hope. Not desperation, or faith (definitely not faith). No, hope is the true inner belief that your purpose is true.