“Hope is a good thing, may be the best of things; and a good thing never dies”
This famous magical enchantment from “The Shawshank Redemption” has the superpower of putting life into perspective.
What is Life, if not happiness, sorrow, friendship, love, jealousy, appreciation, wild and impulsive decisions, madness, drunkenness, to-do lists, food, crazy compulsive disorders, ridiculous passions and last but not the least, the hope that you’ll still survive to do more of it.
Hope is what drives you to have a life you want- the power that you can decide your own fate. Because ultimately, as Bruce Wayne puts it- “we are not who we are underneath, but what we do”. Because all heroes have time and again, proved that you don’t need anything else, but the hope to succeed and achieve what you want- be it saving a whole city from a villain or opening a can of Jam. The persistence that arises from hope, is the basic key to your door even if it doesn’t show explicitly. All the success stories you hear around you show you the surface (the result), but when you go deeper, you see the most common and basic pillar of its support- Hope, that they would make it one day and the will to persist all along and never give up on it.
One of the most profound quotes came from The Dark Knight- “You know why you fall down? So that you can learn to pick yourself up”. Think over it- you can walk today without falling flat on your nose on the road because you never gave up on walking while you were a toddler. Since the release of the movie, it has helped thousands of people, depressed souls, and deadline-stricken overworked souls to get up and never lose hope in them.
Don’t believe me? I dare you to go through my top 10 motivations to be still writing (even after being quite explicitly told that I suck at it!) and prove me wrong.
So, I’m still hopeful because…
10. The movies tell us to…
Have you ever felt the pain of having everything but losing it all in one ugly twist of fate? No?! Does Andy Dufresne ring a bell? Of course! The Shawshank Redemption! That guy was one bad ass investment banker- earned a filthy figure, and had a super-hot wife. Now that’d be THE life, right? Wrong! The next day he lands up in jail for killing his wife who was cheating on him, with double life sentences! Poof! Gone. Your perfect idea of life is over.
But when you see the same guy fixing his own boat in at a heavenly beach in Zihuatanejo, Mexico, with all the tears in your eyes and a renewed love for life, you know it was Hope that had made all the difference.
(Go watch the movie, NOW! and thank me later!!!)
9. Finding the final answer is not the real aim
Do you know the answer to Life, the universe and everything? Okay, then read “The Hitch-hiker’s guide to galaxy” and come back. Read it? So, NOW you know. The moral of the story is- Finding out the exact answer is not always the solution, and therefore, definitely not worth losing your sleep over it. It may seem unnerving, but try this one too for once. Keeping calm has a way of re-energizing you, which allows you to think more clearly and without any biases. Sometimes, you just need to be with the problem for sometime to get over it. Sometimes, you just need to live life for hope, more than anything else. And that’s a good enough reason.
8. Because Mandy Moore needs you!
Just look at those eyes! How can you let her down when “you are her only hope” ? The girl’s sick, for God’s sake!!!
Sometimes, It’s not only about you. It’s about people around you who love to see you smile when your eyes light up with bright ideas, or just when they get you your favorite brand of cheese spread. It’d be pretty selfish if you just sulk over yourself, disregarding the fact you are bringing that person’s hopes down. And one thing that is worse than getting depressed and giving up is making somebody else depressed, and that too, when all he needed to be happy was for you to be happy. Have some courtesy, and bring me back my sock puppet! He’d hate to see me cry.
7. Ice-cream is always the solution, always
Because there’s no problem on earth that can’t be solved over a giant helping of (millions of variants) of an Ice cream. There might be countless heartbreak stories, getting-fired stories, being-aimless stories- all told and survived over millions of cups of vanilla, chocolate-fudge, strawberry, cranberry, blueberry, black currant scoops. Now I’m not saying sugar-sensitive people don’t deserve to live happily (All hail sugar-free product-manufacturers!), but who’d think their life sucks when they have their favorite bowl looking at them, enticing them, re-assuring them- that they are still there to comfort them, to tell them life’s still worth having those scoops again and again.
6. If Chris Gardner can make it, so can you
The guy was homeless, penniless and had a 5-yr old kid to take care of. They had to stay in a restroom of a subway station at one point of time! He worked day in and out to make ends meet before finally his hard work earns him a job of a stockbroker and he goes on to own a multi-million dollar brokerage firm. This truly inspiring real-life story has been brought on the silver screen by the name- “The pursuit of Happyness” starring Will Smith and his son, Jaden Smith. It has some real desktop wallpaper-material quotes like:
Don’t ever let someone tell you that you can’t do something. Not even me. You got a dream, you gotta protect it. When people can’t do something themselves, they’re gonna tell you that you can’t do it. You want something, go get it. Period.
5. This is… SPARTA!!!!
No! This has got nothing to do with the movie unlike the rest. It’s more about the spirit it signifies- You can’t let your enemy win! If you give up on yourself, you are letting that problem win that caused you to give up. No one respects a loser.
You remember how you feel after a nail-biting match between India and Australia (I won’t be really much popular among international readers, I assume) ? It’s the same thing- A true fan wouldn’t care about whether his team won or lost. The 15 minutes towards the end where he nearly chewed his arms off has made his day already. And no one can take that away from him. True, he can relive those moments whenever he wants to (due regards to YouTube!), but the excitement of the fight is what he’ll talk about with his friends for a long time. That’s the magic of putting up a good fight. The outcome doesn’t matter. The effort does.
So, you either win… or die trying.
4. Bob Marley says so
So does MJ, Bon Jovi, Pink Floyd, Freddie mercury… The list of awesomeness is endless. All these great people can’t all be wrong at the same time!
Music has this magical ability to unravel some really inexplicable human emotions. Some really memorable songs have all spoken about Hope and how it is important to have that undying belief in you to be happy and strong. I know of thousands of people who have made it big just surviving on generous doses of Bob Marley’s, “three little birds”, MJ’s, “Heal the world”, Switchfoot’s, “dare you to move” daily. So clearly, you had underestimated the power of Hope to inspire and cause a world revolution. But most importantly, Hope was what caused all these great names to become immortal in our hearts.
3. Sylvester Stallone would have never found his dog without it
Remember that super strong guy from the Rocky series? Well, back when he was not the awesome jaw-breaking, glass-smashing guy that we now know him to be, he had to struggle a lot. He slept at the New York bus station for 3 days because he was broke. He sold his only companion- his dog, to a stranger at a liquor store for a measly $25 because he didn’t have money to feed the dog anymore and walked away crying.
After few days, he saw a match between Mohammed Ali and Chuck Wepner and got inspired to write “Rocky”. He got an offer of $350,000 for the script but was refused to allow to star in it because he “looked and talked funny”. But after much persistence, he was eventually paid $35,000 and allowed to act. The movie went on to sweep Oscars and now, is one of the most legendary films ever made. You know what he did with the money. He waited at the same bar for 3 days before finding the guy he sold his dog to and bought it back for $15,000! *happy tears*
So, I want a dog now and I’m never going to give up on it.
2. Giving up is too mainstream
See this rat. I have it at my home at the most unimaginable of places and nothing inspires me more (before you say weird, we all are labelled to be running the same “rat-race”, genius!). No matter how much Rat-kill, rat-fumigator, sprays or the good old rat traps you use, you can always find him smirking at a corner, like saying- “That’s all you have”? That’s the attitude that will help you survive it. And to have all the cheese you want.
1. You are still alive, for God’s sake!
A great man once said- “If you are not dead, your story’s still not over yet”.
Now this is the ultimate truth of all. I decide, therefore I exist. You decided to give up, which means you made a decision, which in turn implies you are living and you exist. So logically, if you are living, you still have your chance, Even if you are not a fan of logic (which, clearly, is not my strongest point), you can always ask your inner voice if it still wants you to live the way you want to.
So, are you Dead?
… Then keep going!