I prefer those characters who try to do something to help themselves even if what they do turns out to be wrong or not enough. I like my characters to be proactive. I find them far more interesting to read about (I think this is partly because they inevitably learn something from what they do).
Wishing then really is for the character who can't do anything else - they've already done whatever they can do to help themselves. This is the time you really do want your fairy godmother to turn up promptly!