When you don't have hope it feels like you have nothing. But here's my philosophy - there is always hope. Our life is a well and every day is an opportunity day and hope is the driving force that will bring opportunity your way. You just have to keep digging.

You may be reading this and singing in unison with me or you may be reading this with a feeling of weight on your shoulders or darkness in your light, but believe me there is always a positive multiplier from every negative.

When I was seven I actually felt depressed. It's hard to believe, right? But I remember it so clearly. I told myself, "I'm depressed." Pretty depressing isn't it? But it was that level of self-awareness that was important, right then and right now 30 years later.  You have to tune into yourself - not others, not the Internet, not the controlling people around you. But just you.

How often do you use your gut instinct? Collins English Dictionary defines it as:

An instinctive feeling, as opposed to an opinion or idea based on facts.

I recently underwent a psychometric test and it seems (as if I needed to be told) that I rely heavily on my gut instinct and use it in business quite a lot. Well I've been working that 'gutsy' muscle for as long as I can remember, probably since I was able to walk on my two feet and say a few words. And I trusted it ever since. However, the problem is I don't always listen to it, because those nagging doubts rise up and try to over-power the inner senses. And that's what happens to many of us.

I've been digging for so long and there is no sign of hope!

Is this you right now? It's been my story often. But with the gift of 37 years on this earth I've grown to understand that a blockage in my hope tunnel is only a temporary glitch and with some extra and more intense digging, I'm only around the corner from hope. So when you're running out of energy what's the answer? Keep bloody digging of course. Get up, take action and just do it.

The problem with hopelessness is that we cave into a state of inactivity. Yip - doing plain old nothing! Now I'm no psychologist (this is my own tale about my own tales) but doing nothing will reap nothing only greater feelings of hopelessness. I for one am an 'action-maker and an action-taker' - I rise up above the darkness and usually don a pair of high heels to get some light (I'm only 5ft 1 for goodness sake!).

So today, I'm feeling a bit hopeless about getting in shape and getting a better shape - so I'm going to put on my (no heels) trainers and hit the tarmac. Action speaks louder than the words of hopelessness.  Now I'm not going to achieve my goals in just one 5km run, but I'm sure as hell going to have an attitude, feelings and a hopefulness that will trickle on to more positive outcomes.

My hope blocks

Over my 3.7 decades I've had many times when hope seemed like an American Dream. Something unattainable for me and merely words on a page from poets and writers such as Walt Whitman or F. Scott Fitzgerald.

  • When I sat on my own at seven years old and felt depressed and confused, I felt hopelessness.
  • When I woke up to realise I was living on my own at 15 years old, I felt hopelessness.
  • When I gave birth to baby Sophie at 17, I felt hopelessness for both of us.
  • When I walked behind the coffin of Sophie's Dad at 18, I felt hopelessness.
  • When I left Donegal on a bus with a two-year old for a new life and a new adventure, I felt fear, loneliness and hopelessness.

But hope springs and just like in your own life, hope springs in all wells. So listen to your gut instinct, always hold onto hope and believe that every day is an opportunity day. I took action for Sophie and I and drowned down hopelessness and look at us today.  Keep digging! > JSB.

Sophie & JSB