Hope is not a strategy.

Many people I meet expect to achieve their goals and desires … magically. They hope to accomplish their goals by winning some kind of lottery that gives them what they want without thinking or working.

Yes, very few win a lottery, but they are the extreme exception. If you want to live by the exception, go ahead. May I suggest a better way of getting to your goals or desires? 

Develop a strategy to get to your goals. Look at the whole Bible. That is what God did yesterday and what God does today.

My friend, Grady Daniels, a retired military man, wrote a short description on objectives and strategies that he calls “Military 101.” 

We could all benefit from what Grady has written here: Objective (At the highest levels, this is sometimes called Grand Strategy): What it is that you ultimately want.

Strategy is the art of picking the big-picture way of obtaining your objective.

Operational Art is choosing and organizing your campaigns so that they make sense and work together towards the objective and in support of your strategy.

A campaign is a series of battles aimed at a specific part of the objective. Tactics is the art of winning a battle. A Battle is simply the fight you are engaged in at the moment.

Now, there is nothing esoteric or arcane about any of this. Observe: Objective: Happy wife.

Strategy: Show your wife a wonderful time on your anniversary.

Operational Art: Find a good jeweler for that nice tennis bracelet you know she wants. Find a good florist in the neighborhood.

Remember the name of that posh restaurant your wife has always wanted to go to (if you can't remember, ask your kids).

Campaign:  Go to the jeweler, get her a new diamond tennis bracelet, pick up roses on the way home, then take her to dinner at the posh restaurant.

In that order. Going to the jeweler at 11 p.m. after dinner won't do at all, and you won't look good.

Tactics:  Be sure the car has gas. Have a clean suit ready. Leave early/don't be late. Avoid the accident (that is happening just ahead of you) at the next intersection. Know what time the jeweler closes, and be there before closing. Ditto the florist. Buy roses (get more than one). Brush teeth. Be charming, etc.

Battle: Put all of your tactics to work to win all the little battles on the way to your objective.

Here are two more strategies to consider:

Focus: Attention to what you are doing now.

Awareness: Attention to things outside the direct plan that may impact it.

Here are examples of focus and awareness that may occur at any given point in the campaign on the way to your objective of the Happy Wife: Focus: Stick to the plan.Talk football after work another day.

Awareness: On the way to pick up your wife, don't forget to stop when the police car in front of you stops, too.

All things considered, in the end, if you worked your plan right: Voilá! A happy wife!

Don't just do something without a plan. Hope is not a strategy.

Ed Delph's book, “Church @ Community,” can be ordered online at www.NATIONStrategy.com.