Wonder vs. Hope

In this month’s article, we’re talking about living in a state of Wonder. While hope can be a miraculous thing, it can also set us up for disappointment. As Susan wrote in Embracing Uncertainty, “Hoping can lead to a state of unhappiness if those very hopes are dashed. (And, of course, this includes wishing, wanting, desiring, and any other such emotion that opens you up to disappointment, sadness, and upset in the future.) It can create a fear of the uncertainty, even if those hopes are eventually realized. It can blind us to valuable opportunities for growth.”

She recommends living a “Wondering Life” instead of a “Hoping Life.” When we live a life hoping, we are choosing the outcome we would like, which leads to disappointment. When we live a life wondering, we are setting ourselves up to accept whatever blessings come our way.

“Wondering doesn’t result in unhappiness, as there are no hopes to be shattered,” Susan wrote. “And with the magic of wondering, fear of the uncertain is replaced by curiosity. Wonder can also open our eyes to valuable opportunities for growth. You can see why, when we substitute a Wondering Life for a Hoping Life, we have taken one important step toward embracing uncertainty.”

It takes work to embark on a “Wondering Life,” but the more you let go and the more you go with the flow of Wonder, the more at ease you will be with each new day. Susan gives us several exercises in Embracing Uncertainty to help us cultivate a Wondering Life. Check them out and start living in a state of wonder.