Hope In Your Darkest Hour

How do we all get up each day and fight through the hard times? The times when we feel it’s all about to end. Situations where we are certain there is no way out, nowhere else to go. It doesn’t matter if those situations are life or death, poverty, or crappy jobs.

One thing gets us through.


A few years back, I worked in a really bad job. The hours were long, the commute was tiresome (as well as travelling during the day), and the pay average. Those things I could live with. But the worst part of the job was my boss.

She was both the best and the worst boss at the same time. You wouldn’t know who you were getting when she walked into the office every morning (never mind switching moods during the day). She would be the sweetest person trying to find homes for kittens or doing charity work, then immediately switch to fiery dragon, flying off the handle at anybody who looked at her funny.

This work environment seriously affected me and my willingness to work. I loathed coming into the office every single day. After four months of employment I decided to move. But my boss upheld the 3 month notice period, which seriously affected me and my opportunities – as no other company wanted to wait that long.

When you’re down in your lowest, darkest place, it is hard to see any good in this world. The Universe is against you, testing you. You think to yourself ‘Why can’t it test someone else’?

Each day in the job got harder and harder. Eventually, I couldn’t take it anymore. With no job opportunities, I took the plunge and resigned. I risked my livelihood (well, a steady income) to not be in this prison anymore. I believed in my ability and experience that I would find new employment before the 3 months were up. I hoped each day that someone would reply to one of the résumés I had sent out.

Maybe I’m naïve, but I believe there is always hope.

Making a big, risky, decision for you to better yourself or your situation, there is a renewed vigour within you. You are able to pull more resources together knowing that the end is near – there is light at the end of the tunnel.

I find it amazing, too, that things seem to ‘fall in to place’ once that decision has been made. With your new resolve, you take more action. With more action, more opportunities present themselves. About halfway through my notice period, I received a job offer that would eventually lead to me gaining valuable experience and opportunities to get me where I am today.

What I learnt from my bad work experience is that no matter how bad the situation is, it can always be worse. I learnt that I can take risks, and still be ok in the end. I learnt that work is not everything, and being happy at the office is a huge part of our lives.

If you’re in a tough situation at the moment, don’t be afraid to take that first step towards the light. I know it is difficult, and it might not be life threatening, but your vitality and well-being is hampered if you don’t take that first step. The initial step is the hardest one of them all. Find the tiny glimmer of hope within you. Grab it, hold on tight, and use the crap out of it to initiate the vital change to get you where you want to be, where you need to be.

[Featured image: Steve Spiers Photography]

Dream it, do it

I dream way too much. I dream of a new phone, more money, a holiday on some remote Pacific island. You’re dreaming about it too – the white sandy beaches, the crystal clear water… maybe one day we will get there.

You and I always fall into the same trap with these dreams. One day I will be able to afford a holiday. One day I will get a top-of-the-range phone. One day, when I get a promotion, I will get that money I’ve been dreaming of.

One day will never come about. Your dream will always be exactly that – a dream – until you make them into plans.

Take action

Instead of dreaming about one day, why not start planning today. Take action and begin the journey to reach that dream. I’m not saying put the island holiday on the credit card and book flights tomorrow (that’s a bit crazy), rather begin to formulate a plan.

Write it down

While you are dreaming about that phone, holiday, or training course, write it down. It doesn’t matter what format, just whip something out and start writing the ideas down. Things like what time of year would be good, what is the actual price of the item, why do you need it?

Slowly, a picture will form. A picture showing you what is required for you to attain your dream. When I’ve done this before, I have found that I think of other factors that I would not have thought of if I were simply dreaming about one day. For a holiday, necessities like passport requirements, currency, or even local hazards such as earthquakes or volcanoes. For a phone, I would think about specs and data speeds that are compatible with the phone. And even for more money, it’s a matter of what do I need to do to get there?

Plan it

Once notes have been made and a little research done, you will feel a sense of achievement. That is because action was taken, something was done, a step was taken towards that dream.

When you physically note something out of your head and onto paper (or a screen), you have taken your dream and made it a plan. You make your dream more real, more feasible, more attainable. You have something tangible you can work with. You can mould it, shape it, and work with it to reach that dream.

You can also decide where you will go next. Do you need to save money? How much? For how long? Do you need to compare products, services, providers? What area do I need to focus on to improve in order to get that promotion?

All these questions can be answered with a little planning and action.

[Featured image: Thomas Galvez]

What Is Your Next Step?

You have been sitting in the same job for a few years, you know the tricks of the trade, you are the grandmaster. What next? Where can you go from here? What is the next step? Is there even a next step?

Let him that would move the world first move himself. – Socrates

Review your success

I am frustrated at the moment. I have a feeling that I am falling behind, not yet achieving what I am meant to be. I feel I should be working harder, constantly trying new things, pushing the limit to achieve the next level of success – whether it be at the office, or with my writing. I’m working hard, tapping away at the keyboard, or leading my team. Always striving to reach the next step, but never quite reaching it.

But then I look back over the past few months, review what I have achieved, and I realise that I have, indeed, been reaching that next step. The fault has been mine in that when I reach the next step, I’m already looking at the one after that.

I believe this is essential in achieving your purpose. Always looking to the next step – always moving, always improving.

Move forward

In order to attain our version of success, we must have a ‘next step’. That next step can be anything, as long as it’s something to work towards. Authors want more readers, minimalists want less stuff, or spiritualists want to be more content. They are successful at achieving these goals if they are continuously working towards the next step, the next level in achieving their vision.

If you are where you have always wanted to be, then kudos to you. But life is always changing, you are continuously evolving. On the other hand, what if you are not where you want to be. You are stuck in a rut, and don’t quite know where to go from here. That is actually the easier position to be in. In my experience, it’s easier to work towards getting to the top, than it is to stay at the top. How will you do this, though?

All mankind is divided into three classes: those that are immovable, those that are movable, and those that move. – Benjamin Franklin

Don’t stop moving. Move in any direction, do anything that matters (that fits your goal). What is essential to keep in mind is to learn, adapt, and improve. Achieve one thing, and move on to the next.

Don’t follow your passion

The theme of today’s self-help media and content is ‘find your passion!’, ‘do what you love!’, or ’you can do whatever you want to do!’. That doesn’t really work in the real world. We still need to pay the bills, eat food, and have a roof to sleep under. Simply ‘doing what we love’ gets us nowhere (my passion for watching T.V., for example).

My take on these messages is to rather find something that you enjoy doing. You enjoy it enough to work with it every day. Focus on that, learn more about it, and take action. Make bold decisions (any decision is a bold decision) to get it out there for people to notice. Whatever it is, it is you.

I get up every morning thinking about a positive impact I can make on my small area of the world. I may write about this passion, I enjoy writing about it, but writing certainly isn’t my passion – it is the action I’m taking to make my impact. The writing is the means of implementing my passion.

Grow confident

As you become more confident, take it to the next level, and ask yourself ‘What is the next Step?’, ‘what should I be doing in order to make this bigger, or maintain where I am now?’.

My own next step is to continue focusing this blog on the self-improvement and self-growth path, as well as gain further exposure through guest posts and building strong relationships with good people such as you.

Have a think about your next step and work towards it. Any big steps you want to share?

[Featured image: Wesley Eller]

Let’s Build Something Together

When I started this blog in 2013, I had no idea where it would take me. I just knew I wanted to get my message out there. Eventually it found its way to you and the idea began to grow and gather some momentum. By joining me on this journey, you have helped me find my true passion.

And I would love for you to continue to help me pass on this message. You can be a part of something new today. Something good that will help change your part of the world. Something great that will show you just how important you really are to yourself, and the people around you.

Since that first article last year, this blog with an unknown message has discovered its meaning. has never truly been clear on the message I’ve been trying to pass on, but I now know what it is – that is to help people grow ideas that change their world.

A distinct message to show that you control how your day goes, or you are the one who makes your life. Not your boss, not your husband, not even your God.


The purpose of this blog needs a new name showing the meaning and message – just doesn’t cut it. Over the next few weeks this blog will become

Help Grow Change

There are many meanings that can be derived from these three words. Some examples being;

  • Help grow change.
  • Help people grow ideas that change the world.
  • Help yourself, grow yourself, change yourself.
  • Help others grow themselves to change their life.

You can take whatever message you want from these words, but they will mean the same thing. This is one of the main reasons I love it.

But, this is not about me, it is about you and whether this message is right for you. This is where you can help in getting this message right. You’ve read my articles over the last few months. You’ve been on the receiving end of my work, and I am deeply appreciative of that.

I want you to be a part of this movement. I would love to hear from you on the following;

  • What would you like to hear more of?
  • Where do you think more energy needs to be focused?
  • Does my message and the way I write it ring true?

I am really excited about having a name for this movement. Help Grow Change feels right as the brand of the message we’re discovering as we grow. And you are key to that (if you reply to this message 😉 ).

Thank you for your contributions so far. Let’s see where we can go from here.

[Featured image: Tambako the Jaguar]

Have the Audacity to Ask

While looking for a new webhost, I came across a site that had a few mistakes on it. I had an idea about asking if the owner would consider exchanging my editing services for hosting services. I thought it was preposterous and arrogant. But you know what happened? He accepted.

This got me thinking about other times we don’t get what we want (or anything at all) because we don’t ask. We are afraid of rejection, accusation, or the perception that we are arrogant.

When you have an idea that you feel will benefit both parties, why not go ahead and ask? So what if someone rejects you? You are no worse than where you started – and at least you know where you stand. You will know for sure that this path is closed to you for now. But as the old saying goes, ‘if one door closes, another opens’. This couldn’t be more true.

Think about those times where you have wanted to ask for something. Maybe it was a pay increase, or someone to look after your children so you could have a break, or even a discount at the furniture store. When I think about those times in my own life, I realise now what would’ve happened if I had simply asked…


The recipients of my question would simply have said ‘no’, and we would have carried on with our day. Or, they could have said ‘yes’, and a different outcome could have occurred.

Sometimes I get irritated and despondent with people that always seem to get the good deals, or always seem to have opportunities fall into their lap. I look on as they stroll away with not a care in the world, while I sit here sweating away trying to do what’s best for me and my family. How do these people get their opportunities? Why do good things always seem to come by there people?

They ask.

They don’t accept what they have, they see an opportunity, they say yes. They ask about a discount, or an exchange deal. They work smarter to get the best out of a deal or situation. That is what you and I need to do too. We need to take that bold step to ask for something we feel we deserve.

So next time you have an idea, ask the question. Challenge yourself, ask, and you might just be surprised by the answer.

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