The Perils of Hopium

art of encore living personal development tga Jan 04, 2023
avoiding the downside of hope

What is “hopium?”

Hopium is a portmanteau (blend of words to create a new term) of the words “hope” and “opium” used to describe a fictional drug to help one stay hopeful in times of stress.

But relying on hopium is as dangerous as the drug embedded within its name.

For instance, when investments are taking a downward turn, some hold onto them out of the false hope that they’ll rebound.

But skilled, confident, and wise investors don’t rely on hopium.

They cut their losses quickly so they can reinvest their remaining resources into another more likely winner.

These investors recover faster and maintain forward motion in the right direction.

What does this have to do with making a better living while you make a bigger difference?


I know that for far too long, hope was my primary strategy.

I launched offers, built courses, and crafted copy, then “put it out there,” hoping that it would connect with those I seek to serve.

Turns out hope is not a strategy.

What to do?

Start with first principles

Who are you? What are you good at? Where do you belong?

At the intersection of the answers to those three questions is the difference only you can make.

Then what?

Well, that’s where the real work begins. The human work of making meaningful change for the better with and for people you care about.

How do you begin the real work?

It helps to first get off the hopium.

Instead, embrace, engage, and execute a daily discipline of placing small bets and taking micro-steps into refining what you actually do, who it’s really for, and employing empathetic antagonism when you share your offer with that audience.

This is how you build the skill that encourages the confidence that leads to the wisdom necessary to create real strategies for successful forward motion (and stay away from hopium).

What steps are you taking to avoid the perils of hopium today?

Scott Perry, Encore Life Coach at The Art of Encore Living

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