“Hope is not a strategy. You need to learn how to stop losing.”
You have almost certainly heard this expressed, many times, over the course of interactions with other human beings.
As a professional program manager with a long career in business, project plans, and program portfolios, I’ve probably heard it more than most.
Usually there is a fussy sort of self-importance when it’s said, as if the speaker intends to demonstrate such advancement of capacity, coherence, and competence, that he is of course far more elevated than you, and needs to remind you of this simple truth.
Generally when I hear that I suppress a desire to come over the table at them and watch them do exactly that. As they “hope” I don’t slaughter them with my hands, because “hope” is all they have when it comes to survival in the dark world at the hands of men who want them dead.
I confess to impatience with fools and churls, for they interfere with the progress of things.
Grasp well that the concept is not a simple one, but rather profound and of incredible importance when it comes to survival, momentum, and triumph.
It is fundamentally crucial to manhood, war, and salvation.
Fealty, cruelty, and majesty cannot operate on hope.
We will examine these, and I will explain to you why hope, while an absolute necessity for the human spirit, is also the most deadly and dangerous thing that a man can embrace and attempt to instill into his life, his work, and his affairs.
Hope is expectation of pity from the universe, and the universe does not operate that way.
Hope is gambling on circumstance, and in the dark world the house always wins.
Until you understand and absorb this, you will not know how to stop losing.
Pay close attention, and listen well.
The most important thing you must remember, and always adhere to, is the dual nature of all things.
The ninja speak of kyojitsu tenkan ho, the alternation of truth and falsehood, real and unreal, and the tumble and turn of this inherent duality of Creation leaks the makoto “sincere truth” which shows the Will of Heaven by which absolute victory is delivered.
This foundational perspective is also expressed in physics, where for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.
Therefore good has evil, creation has destruction, denial has love.
Hope is no different.
Hope enables men to move beyond despair, the alternate and infinite depth of mortal damnation, and hope itself extends to life beyond this one at its highest expression.
Understand this: hope is expectation of pity, and pity between Men is a disgusting and unforgivable, horrendous and disgraceful, usurpation of the prerogative of God.
To bake hope into your plans is to declare that the universe moves for you, and that Heaven itself bestows favor.
That is not how things work.
That is not how God works.
That is not how truth works.
To the extent you invest in hope, you invest your affairs into the potentiality of despair. It teases and tempts the only unforgivable sin to rebalance with terrible impact.
“Dashed hopes” are indeed terrible, are they not?
“No hope” is a synonym for despair.
The problem is never with hope, and in fact the problem is not even with despair.
The problem is the hearts and minds of Men.
And if you desire to learn how to stop losing, you must understand what is truly meant at the core of this truth, that hope is not a strategy.
You must look at hope as a principle.
There are principles, which are inherent to Heaven.
There are methods, by which the Earth itself moves and changes.
There are techniques, the vehicles by which Men engage.
Hope is not a strategy, for strategy is within the realm of technique.
Hope rises far above these things, and hope is one of Heaven’s great principles.
You do not use hope, apply hope, shape hope, practice hope, or any of the ten thousand permutations of transient change with which human beings attempt to control their fate.
Understand that hope is an aspect of the Way, a principle of Heaven, and therefore not a tool in your hands.
It is a great principle with which you must accord.
It is your posture that accords with hope, or does not.
It is your endurance that flows with hope, or fails.
It is your purpose that expands with hope, or despairs.
Hope is not for you to handle and twist and manipulate like a kitchen fork.
Hope is the reason that loved ones gather at the table.
Between hope and despair, is it not accordance with principles by which you find your way?
Therefore hope must be present, and that is how to stop losing.
Accord with hope, array your affairs with hope as principle, and not method or technique.
It is not your plans or strategies that hope must become integral to,
But the great purpose and outcome of the Way is hopeful,
And thereby the mandate of Heaven that descends upon your affairs,
Gives hope to all who encounter both it and you.
Don’t depend on hope.
Never push Heaven to do what you want.
This is simple, is it not? And so self-evident, that one can only observe in amazement as fools rail and rage against the very nature of creation itself.
I do not have pity for them, for their despair is of their own making.
The free will and conscience of Men is their utter and total prerogative on Earth under Heaven.
If you know you must learn how to stop losing, go directly to the nature of hope.
Contemplate well what I tell you here of hope, and how hope is not a strategy or method or technique.
Hope is the great principle of Heaven that overcomes all, sustains all, and is the very heart of salvation itself.
Therefore faith, hope, and love are the great qualities of God.
Learn this well.
There is faith, and it is profound.
There is hope, and it is real.
Love itself is the great reason and purpose of all things, the source of God Himself, and this is the ultimate and eternal makoto sincere truth that the ninja never forget.
Therefore let all thoughts within you accord with the Way of Heaven, and faith flow through your decisions.
Place hope in its proper order, as the great principle and reason for the existence of all things,
And love will glow brighter than any despair.
I am Ivan Throne, and I tell you today that hope is not a strategy.
Hope is everything, despair is nothing, and this is how to stop losing.
Never forget my words.
Much love, honor, and respect,
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1. Fujibayashi, Y., Cummins, A., & Minami, Y. (2013). The book of ninja: The Bansenshukai, Japans premier ninja manual. London: Watkins Publishing.