Why Hope and Optimism May be the Missing Keys to Success

Aaryan Harshith
4 min readOct 21, 2019


Just like a bird can’t even begin to think of flying without wings, chasing after your dreams without hoping for success is useless.

Trust me, sometimes I’m too ambitious for my good, and countless times, I’ve found myself biting off more than I could ever have hoped to chew. I don’t even remember how many times I’ve found myself frozen, drained of motivation, or flat-out stuck. Sometimes, my lack of willpower brought me to the point where I didn’t even bother to start a task before giving up.

What was I missing?

I had the knowledge, the passion, and the work ethic that everyone kept talking about. I read books, I meditated, and I even went to the gym every once in a while. It took me almost a year of endless experimentation to see what I was missing — hope.

All my hours of deep mindfulness, book-reading, and aimless work were useless if I didn’t even believe in myself. I could have poured months of my dedicated time into a useful motive, yet failing to hope essentially rendered that time useless. This article will cover some of the numerous reasons why hope plays such a big factor in the course of your life.

Handling Pressure

Imagine the weight of half a million people’s expectations on your shoulders. In 2018, Elon Musk himself had to bear this weight to keep his company afloat.

At this time, over 500,000 people had ordered a Tesla Model 3 for delivery, all while Musk’s company struggled to make a single car.

Saying that’s a huge burden to carry would be an understatement.

Imagine the gut-wrenching feeling Musk would’ve felt — the feeling of uncertainty must have been immense. Despite the odds and minor delays; however, Tesla managed to stay profitable and fulfill the lofty expectations of its customers.

“Essentially the company was bleeding money like crazy. And just if we didn’t solve these problems in a very short period time — I would say single-digit weeks — we would die. And it was extremely difficult to solve them.”

To this day, Musk never fails to mention that, had he lost his optimism and hope, he would have collapsed under the sheer pressure of the situation. Similarly, countless other entrepreneurs and visionaries such as Larry Page and Gary Vaynerchuck have stressed the value of optimism and its role in coping with uncertain circumstances.

Bias Towards Action

If you’ve ever experienced a time of complete hopelessness, you’ve probably seen that your motivation gets drained much faster. When your view of the future is grim, why would you bother working towards it?

Optimism, on the other hand, allows us to see the future through a brighter lens, making us want to work towards it. When the results look great, why not plunge ahead? In other words, optimism and hope provide us with an incentive to work for our dreams.

In the smash-hit book “Think and Grow Rich”, Napoleon Hill states that desire is the basis of all success.

“The starting point of all achievement is desire. Keep this constantly in mind. Weak desire brings weak results, just as a small fire makes a small amount of heat.” — Napoleon Hill: “Think and Grow Rich”

The intensity of your desire directly correlates with the scale of things you achieve in life. Pessimists reduce their desire to zero, along with their chances of success. Optimists see a rosier future, and by maximizing their desire to attain it, they maximize their chances of success as well.

Action After Failure

Sometimes, even the brightest goggles of hopefulness can’t prevent people from failure. When that happens, pessimists stop dead in their tracks, while optimists find a reason to continue.

I think we can all agree that failure can bring even the most dedicated optimists down. It’s true — not many people want to fail, even people chock-full of hope. What many people fail to realize is that hope allows you to see failure as a reason to move forward, while pessimism makes people see it as a reason to freeze. The renowned British Prime Minister Winston Churchill once said:

After failure, optimistic realize that they still have a dream to fulfill, and they have so many more goals left to accomplish. When you have hope, the only option left after failure will be to try again.

Failure after failure, optimistic people are bound for success. Over time, these failures serve as learning opportunities and invaluable experience that pessimists don’t acquire. With every “failed” venture, mission, or dream, optimists will be more likely to succeed.


  • Hope allows you to deal with pressure rather than collapsing under it.
  • Optimists are much more motivated than pessimists — they see a bright future, so they strive harder to make it a reality.
  • Hope allows people to continue after failure, which over time, compounds to success.

To conclude, daring to hope is not always easy, but it’s vital to success. Now, this raises the question: “If people just like you can dare to hope, what’s stopping you?”