Confessions Of A Hope Fiend

I admit it.

I sell hope.

You might call me a dealer. I'm okay with that.

Call it optimism if you will. I like to think of it as encouraging other people to live out their best potential.

There are those who are critical of this mindset; those who are quick to point out everything that is wrong with the world. The economy. Human trafficking. The shifting of global power. Pollution. The health crisis.

They have a point.

Where we differ is how we approach all these problems.

I believe that hope gives birth to answers.

It gives us access to the resources we need (both internal and external) to start solving those problems.

I believe in acknowledging reality; I just don't believe in stopping there.

Once we've identified the problem, it's time to start focusing on the solution.

A great writer once pointed out three essentials for living on the earth: faith, hope, and love. And while he said that the greatest of these is love (and I agree), I believe that love is birthed when we mix faith and hope.

Optimists just spend less time dwelling on what's wrong with the world. They spend less time thinking about what might go wrong with their plans.

Sometimes they fall on their faces.

But everything we love about the world originated in the heart of an optimist.

You might think that is overstating the case.

But I happen to believe we were all created by the ultimate optimist-God.

He knew just how wrong the human race would be capable of going. How wrong we would go.

But he saw something in us that he loved.

And he created us anyway.

Gave us the capacity for faith, and for love, and for hope.

That, my friend, is optimism. I like it.

So I'll just keep on selling hope.

And I hope you will too.

Ray Edwards is a world-renowned copywriter and communications strategist, writing for some of the most powerful voices in leadership and business including New York Times bestselling authors Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen (Chicken Soup for the Soul) and Tony Robbins. Ray is a sought-after speaker and author, hosts a popular weekly podcast, and blogs at

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  • ChristopherLee1

    Awesome! We serve an Optimistic God and so should we also be. I think as hope-dealers, which I am probably also, we should point to the things that already have to make sure it is a stable one. Our products should serve to draw those things out of them, giving people  what they want, but sneaking in what they need. Which is what you do. God bless you brother!

    •  @ChristopherLee1 Thanks Christopher! And God bless YOU as well.

  • williammcpeck

    Your followers Ray are glad you are a dealer.  Keep on selling hope.
    I would agree that faith, hope and love are the essentials of life.  As a worksite wellness and well-being thought leader and strategist, I also recognize the importance of faith, hope and optimism to health and wellness.
    The emerging field of positive health is based on the optimism research coming out of the positive psychology community.  The research has shown that higher levels of optimism are associated with better health and quality of life.   

    •  @williammcpeck Science confirms what Scripture knows!

  • It seems that youth breeds optimism, but after years of missing many of those dreams it is not unusual for men to lose that optimism. But it should not be that way if God is firmly held in view. And there is no one quite as appealing as an older person who lives all out with God in view. This type of man will be a beacon to many and a special hope dealer to the younger generation. There is much that is attractive about this hope. 
    Stay the course…others are following!

    •  @dhammett Thank you Doug for the encouragement,

  • kevinfrancis

    Great post and an important message.  
    Veering off slightly into the commercial realm, it seems to me that in many cases one of the key things we’re offering people with a product or service is indeed hope…the hope that their life will get better, that there is a solution to their problem, that the future will turn out OK. Of course it’s essential that the product or service delivers on the promise but this aspect of hope I think is often overlooked in copy.
    There’s a great quote from G.K.Chesterton about this that eludes me.
    (As an aside, the power of hope explains the success of all too many con-artists, including those in the political realm.)
    As a final thought, you might want to expand a little on the difference between what you’re calling here “optimism” and passive “hope”.  Every time I hear your mellifluous voice I am reminded of Tony Robbins.  In one of his sessions on physiology he contrasts “hoping” something will happen with the state of  “expecting” a successful outcome.
    Thanks for the post and for being a “Hope Fiend” (nice subject line :)) 

    •  @kevinfrancis I think the Biblcal definition of “hope” is not the double-minded, maybe-so-maybe-not variety — but rather it is the “positive expectation of good things”.

  • Never saw things quite that way, Ray. Nice! God, the eternal optimist. Continue selling hope, my friend. I stand beside you in it.

  • Beverlyspeaks

    I am delighted to read this post. God spoke to my heart a couple of years ago that I am a “merchant of hope.” I had never heard that term before and thought, “you can’t sell hope, what does that mean?” You get it!!! Confirmation is so cool. Very meaningful message… I’m the East Coast Dealer. : )