“Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back everything is different?”. Those are words by C.S. Lewis, yet they resonate deeply within my soul. Thinking about this is hilarious because we often fail to see the strides, we make daily, rather we focus on the long-term goal that we want to achieve in our respective areas. We often fail to celebrate the fact that we just woke up and decided to follow our path. Celebrating just taking a single step each day. Celebrating 10 minutes you took to work on your goal. Fact of the matter is that its progress, it has a ball set in motion, and it is far much better than not doing anything at all.

Its understandable though, each and everyone of us wants to wake up, already living the dream that they aspire to reach. We crave success, because attaining it, gives the satisfaction of excellence in our personal, professional and public arenas. It makes us feel good, it makes us feel like we can conquer the world and do anything our minds set us to do. Unfortunately, many of us, are prisoners of failure! We fail to reach our goals. We fail to reach our targets, we fail to see the value that we possess, because we are too concerned about reaching the goal rather than appreciating the process. There is nothing wrong in aspiring to build Rome. However, everything is wrong with thinking that Rome can be built in a day. This type of thinking robs us of an opportunity to celebrate the success of laying the foundation each day. It steals our zeal to aspire to be great, because it gives us unrealistic expectations, and becomes the perfect recipe for disaster. In addition, it strips us of one crucial element of our being, HOPE.

We have been wired to have that feeling of expectation and desire for a thing to happen. It is the reason we wake up every morning. The reason we dream, the reason we are who we are! This same feeling needs to be nurtured and honed, to be able to bear productive fruits. It is a great feeling by the way, that feeling that excites you, when your crush finally decides to respond to your inbox. The feeling that excites you when you are called for an interview. Oh! What a beautiful feeling. However, this feeling needs to be exercised for it to be strong. You need to give your hope push-ups! To make it stronger and resilient. You need to take it for a jog, to be able to create stamina! Because when all other feelings and body parts are letting you down, this is the feeling that will help carry you through your storms and see you through the silver lining. It this same feeling that will validate your reason for your existence, your reason why you matter, and if people push you to a corner, it is this feeling that will direct your knight in shining armour to you. Ladies and Gentlemen, Optimism is a state of mind, that depends solely on your confidence. It feeds of it and makes the world something on the palm of your hands, giving you power and ammunition, to fight your fight.

Confidence is a key element that we are blessed with at toastmasters. We work on it, every minute, every hour, every day, every month, and with every step forward. We take charge regardless of our boundaries, and we tap into a realm of super strength and super networks. Networks and Strengths that help guide our journeys of hope! And once we get there, do we stop? Certainly not, we recruit others, and help them find their mojo. It is this hope that keeps the toastmasters brand alive!

Therefore, considering COVID-19, your challenges, your weaknesses, lockdown, insecurity, what are you milking from your HOPE COFFERS?