Hope is a funny thing. It is such a powerful force within the world that has been used to fuel revolutions, world-change, discovery, and art. Hope gives us all something to strive for. Numerous religions talk about hope as being “the substance of things we believe in, and the evidence of things unseen”. This image gives a picture of hope that seems to encompass more than just what is in front of us. Hope is powerful.

As of December, I, Mitch, have been getting tested for some heart issues. After an initial round of testing the doctors were concerned that there may be some damage to the muscle of my heart. The type of damage that is only possible by a heart attack. This is scary news for any person, but as a 22 year old with a family history of serious heart problems, this was one of the most hopeless moments of my life. It felt as though the things that I had dreamed of and wanted to do were quickly becoming simply dreams that would never be acted out. The world travel, adventures, business making, life saving I wanted to do would be cut off by my health. If that’s not a wake up call I don’t know what is.

So, I started trying to do anything and everything that I had dreamed of that I feasibly could do. I started working out (after years of not), going to see live music whenever possible (which there are some fantastic musicians in the Chicagoland area), spending time with my family (who I haven’t given nearly enough time to in the last while), and breathe. I have two speeds in my life: all on, or all off. But now I was stopping and acknowledging the rest and breaks I was given. During this time, the doctor called for more testing to be done in order to verify the results of the first test and to see what was truly going on with my heart.

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January 23, I put on my purple running shoes, went to the hospital in the 20 degree cold and had my next round of testing and readings. With a team of doctors, nurses, and techs, I did my testing and as they wrapped up I was given the results… Whatever was seen on my first test was not thereThe initial thought of a heart attack was no longer there. Keep in mind, there still are some issues with my heart that are being figured out, but man, that big one is out of the way!

Reflecting on that moment the last two weeks has been a challenge for me. Not because I couldn’t figure out how to respond, but because of the implications of what had been happening since my initial round of testing. I had received some of the worst news of my life. I felt like I couldn’t do anything. My life was over (I understand how dramatic this all is, but realistically that is what I thought). But here’s the kicker… I didn’t give up.

Hope is a funny thing. When we find ourselves in desperate times with terrible news, situations, or circumstances, there are so many ways we can respond. My life was saved by a pair of purple shoes, a cold day, and a heart attack, but not in the way you would think. It caused me to do the things that I never thought I would get done. I pushed to try things that were new, and oftentimes scary, to me. It forced me to not give up. And here’s the thing that I have realized from the last months:

If you’re breathing, you aren’t done yet. 

Let me repeat that again: IF YOU’RE BREATHING, YOU AREN’T DONE YET.

I understand that my situation is different than many peoples’. Not everyone is going to have a serious medical or life situation, but this does not change the urgency that the above, bold, and obnoxious text says. There is always hope to make the world a little bit better. There is always hope to achieve the things you’ve wanted to do. There’s always hope to try something. No matter how little hope you might feel or have there is always the hope that you (YES YOU) can make the world better with the time you have left.


Life and Success meet when a person can realize that hope is fully participating in the world around you, knowing that the little bit that a person can do, no matter how small, will make a difference.

Live your life. Be the difference.

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