When you hear the expression written above, you think of something dismal or sullen. But, that is not always the case. The true is the expression is a reminder of the reality of our world and it is a reality that we often don't take into consideration, despite the fact that it happens to us everyday.
When you say, "hope for the best," you believe or have faith that something good will occur that day. Sometimes if you believe enough you will wait for it to occur and be overjoyed when it does. But, what happens if it doesn't occur. Do you ask questions? and if so, what questions do you ask? Why did it not occur? What did I do to stop it? Was I cursed or doomed? These questions simply remind you that life is fickle and unpredictable, and that unpredictability makes it impossible for you to know all possible outcomes, especially positive ones.
When you say,"expect the worst", you have already come to a forgone conclusion that the good news which you are hoping for is not coming. In fact, you are sure it is not coming because your mind has given up on the idea and you are convinced that waiting for it is a waste of time. But, as in the earlier example, what if the opposite is true? In other words, what if your expectation of bad news does not come? Do you ask a question like: what happened? What changed to make this event turn from obvious disaster to unforeseen triumph? Was it fate or was it GOD? Either way, you are left with a conundrum, if I expect bad news, which usually occurs but on this occasion does not, do I now expect good news instead? That question, I cannot answer. But, what I can do is suggest that because life is unpredictable, travels with it, learn from it, and see where it takes you. Often times, expectations are themselves a void of truth that is an illusion because we cannot determine what happens. Only GOD can.
When you say, "hope for the best, expect the worst", you believe that truth and reality are two different phenomenons. Truth can be fabricated, changed, and created. Reality cannot. Reality can only be reached through a sense of responsibility, effort, and dedication. If one knows his/her path, then nothing in this world can dissuade him/her. Like Samson's hair which represented the strength of Samson's faith, so should our resolve in life be-ever strong, resilient, and pure. Be happy for what the day will bring, but don't be naive and think that only good fortune will befall you because life offers no guarantees. It only offers choices, opportunities, rewards, and punishments. Which one you receive depends upon your judgement, your convictions, your integrity, and your honesty not just with life, but with yourself and the people you interact with everyday.
In conclusion, I call "hope for the best, expect the worse", a affirmation for a future of warning. But, it is not a decree for despair. You determine for yourself what attitude or emotion you will bring to a situation in life that could be pleasant or unpleasant. No one can change or formulate your attitude. cannot change your mind, feel your emotions, or think your thoughts. The only thing that it can do is exact a reality from your own karma. If you put negativity into the universe, don't be surprise if it returns later to you, two time over. Don't be upset with life, embrace it. Don't fear change, embrace it. Don't fear negative expectations, embrace them and be overjoyed because negativity is like fear - false evidence appearing real. It does not exist unless you give it life. Give life to positive outcomes, and positivity will be your paradise paved with roads of gold , milk, and honey.