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“They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world: someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for.” -Tom Bodett
There’s a very popular motivational cliché we all use when we wish to encourage ourselves or others to hold on through trying times – “there is a light at the end of the tunnel”. As a motivational speaker, counsellor and all round good guy, I realise that my most popular product, my flagship merchandise, is a tried and tested discovery called ‘HOPE’. Hope is a product in hot demand and very low supply, and with the amount of daily dose of bad news we receive from most quarters, it’s threatening to go extinct.  That is why I and other hope merchants, realising we are in a battle to save an endangered specie, holler like deranged men when trying to make our points. Hope is the lifeline of every success; it is the intangible scent that attracts us to our destiny. It is the invincible hand that pushes us forward. Hope is why you got out of bed this morning, and regardless of your crappy yesterday, you knotted your tie, brushed your weave-on, and stepped out into the sunlight. You hope that even though you didn’t close the deal yesterday, you may have better luck today. Emily Dickinson poetically put it this way, “Hope is the thing with feathers, That perches in the soul And sings the tune without words And never stops at all.” Hope is what keeps us going until success is achieved. If you are wondering why I’m such a hope enthusiast, then relax let me try and convict you. Our aim in life is to be successful; our relationships, career, family and all our endeavours are focused on making it happen. Meanwhile, there is a question we hardly seem to ask ourselves, and that is, “why do we need to be successful?” why is there this craving driving us to succeed, even when success comes at a very high cost (ask inmates, especially those at death row). The answer is that we strive for success, whatever we interpret it to be, so we could be happy.  The American constitution expresses the three rights that are considered unalienable; they are, the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We all want to be happy, and that is what drives us. Happiness is the reward of success, fulfilment and satisfaction. So what has hope got to do with happiness and success? The road to success is a road least travelled, and it is the proverbial narrow road. The success journey is wrought with many huddles, pits and bumps, and it is very easy to wish to quit. It is at this junction that the value of hope is best seen, just like Stephanie Meyer said in Twilight, “I like the night, without the dark, we’d never see the stars”. Hope is the force from within us which provides us the energy to keep trying and striving for success, even after we have failed before.  Hope is the Special Forces commando squad that comes to our rescue when we feel like throwing in the towel, when what we desire is still in the womb of the invisible, and the birth process is traumatic. Without hope, we can’t achieve much because we would not pass the threshold that leads to success. We all have success waiting for us if we don’t give up; we all have something to contribute in life if we don’t give up. The battle for success is never lost until hope is lost. Pittacus in ‘I Am Number Four’ says “when you have lost hope, you have lost everything. And when you think all is lost, when all is dire and bleak, there is hope”.
“In this life we have three great lasting qualities – faith, hope, and love….” 1 Corinthians 13:13 (Philips NT)

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This article was first published on 13th August 2017

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