Winning Words

Here’s to hope, habits and happiness

Column by Michael Norton
Posted 3/2/21

There is a popular statement among business professionals, owners, and salespeople, and it is based on the book by Rick Page titled “Hope is Not a Strategy.” In this context, hoping to grow our …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Don't have an ID?

Print subscribers

If you're a print subscriber, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one.


Click here to see your options for becoming a subscriber.

If you made a voluntary contribution in 2022-2023 of $50 or more, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one at no additional charge. VIP Digital Access includes access to all websites and online content.

Our print publications are advertiser supported. For those wishing to access our content online, we have implemented a small charge so we may continue to provide our valued readers and community with unique, high quality local content. Thank you for supporting your local newspaper.
Winning Words

Here’s to hope, habits and happiness


There is a popular statement among business professionals, owners, and salespeople, and it is based on the book by Rick Page titled “Hope is Not a Strategy.” In this context, hoping to grow our business or hoping that we will make a sale without a solid strategic and tactical plan is true. Hope is not a strategy.

However, there are times where hope is the absolute best strategy and approach. The business owner without hope to better serve their customers or community will settle for the low-hanging fruit and more than likely accept mediocrity from themselves, their employees, and the products or services they provide. The salesperson who only focuses on making a deal, with no focus on developing winning relationships is likely operating without the proper context of hope. Hope in business and in selling eliminates a “One and Done” or “One Hit Wonder” mentality.

Conversely, the business owner, the salesperson, and each one of us who has hope, works with hope, and lives with hope, is more likely to move from the simple practice of “hoping” and into the planning, doing, and achievement required to reach our dreams and goals. Hope drives change. Hope adds the “will” to our “skill.” Hope powered by encouragement creates a completely different mindset.

Here is another phrase we are all probably familiar with, “Kick the Habit.” What if the habit is a good and productive habit, should we still try and “Kick the Habit”?; or should we “Keep the Habit” Ask 10 people to describe or define the word “habit,” and eight out of 10 will use negative wording or descriptors. Why is that? Why do we see the word “habit” with such a pessimistic outlook? It is because we typically associate habits with something that we need to break instead of build or keep.

If bad habits can quickly become terrible habits, then it must hold true that good habits can become great habits. And what if we allowed ourselves to make hope a strategy that included a tactical plan and approach? Would we break bad habits before they become worse, build new and productive habits, and turn our existing good habits into amazing habits that lead to the achievement of our goals and dreams? Of course we would.

Do you see the connection yet? If not, I encourage you to read just a little bit more.

We all have hope for something. We hope for good health, loving family and friends, a job or career that fulfills us, a better tomorrow, peace, healing, unity, and so much more including our hope for happiness. And here is where it all comes together for us. When we have hope, we are more likely to make the necessary and positive changes in our lives. Once we identify the changes that need to be made, we will become inspired to break our bad habits that hold us back and form the good habits that propel us forward. When hope is part of our foundational attitude towards life and we create habits that fuel our journey, we will move one step closer to achieving the happiness we desire.

Here are a few questions that I get when I speak on this topic. Is hope nothing more than a wish that has no plan? Are bad habits so engrained that they are unbreakable? Is happiness possible without hope? Depending on who you ask, you may receive a different response or guidance than mine. But I would say that hope is more than a wish, there are no habits that cannot be broken or built upon, and at times happiness is possible without hope, but the odds typically favor the hopeful.

So how about you? Is hope a part of your strategy and approach to life? Are you on your way to breaking bad habits and forming better ones? As always, I would love to hear your story at, and when we see hope and habits through the lens of helping us achieve happiness, it really will be a better than good year.

Michael Norton is the grateful CEO of, a personal and professional coach, and a consultant, trainer, encourager and motivator to businesses of all sizes.

Michael Norton


Our Papers

Ad blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an ad blocking plugin in your browser.

The revenue we receive from our advertisers helps make this site possible. We request you whitelist our site.