Despite being deaf since birth, Stephen J. Hopson enjoyed fifteen years of extraordinary success in the turbulent world of Wall Street before switching gears in 1996 and becoming a transformational speaker, author and eventually pilot. During the last five years he was on Wall Street, Stephen enjoyed a lucrative career as a stockbroker with numerous sales and recognition awards at financial giant Merrill Lynch.
Stephen is a risk-taker with a capital “R.” After several years of smashing barriers on Wall Street, he experienced an epiphany in April 1996 that inspired him to “chuck it all” and leave a lucrative 6-figure career and take a leap of faith into uncharted waters. Family, friends and colleagues were flabbergasted. They couldn’t understand why he would leave a good career where he was making a lot of money, winning awards and being profiled extensively in the national media, including The New York Times, Careers and the disabled (cover story) and CNN. At the time, it had been a while since he last had a public speaking engagement and he did not have any writing credentials to speak of. What’s more, he had no proof that taking such a huge a leap of faith and starting a new career would actually pan out. It was as if he were riding on some kind of jet stream propelling him forward to live his life’s purpose. He just knew it would all work out.
Today, he is in demand nationwide as a transformational speaker and is a best-selling author of Obstacle Illusions. He has appeared on several talk and radio shows including Leeza and The Mitch Albom Radio Show.
His story has been featured in numerous newspapers and magazines around the world.
Stephen Hopson never dreamt that leaving Wall Street would ultimately lead him to the rapid fulfillment of his largest childhood dream, which was to become a pilot. A few years after he left Merrill Lynch, he stumbled onto a website about deaf pilots. His long-buried dream immediately came roaring back to life, and he began flight training in 2000. After many months of training, he finally earned his private and commercial pilot’s licenses (2001 and 2003 respectively).
But that was not all.
In February 2006, he made aviation history by becoming the world’s first deaf pilot to earn an instrument rating, which actually requires the use of a radio when flying though inclement weather. Through Stephen’s unwavering faith, courage and hope, the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) was finally convinced that he could be pilot-in-command of an aircraft through the clouds with the help of a qualified co-pilot handling the radios for him. This was an unprecedented accomplishment, since no deaf pilot had ever achieved such a rating in the history of aviation. It was an achievement that garnered worldwide media attention from places as far away as France, Ireland, Korea, Australia and Sweden.
About three years after his aviation achievements, he decided it was time to go back to school but not just any old school. What he wanted was something different, something deeper than what traditional schools offered. Not knowing where to begin, he did a Google search using the words “spiritual psychology.”
The result of that search led him to Maharishi University of Management (MUM) in a small, magical town called Fairfield, Iowa. Almost immediately he knew he found the right school and was matriculated for the 2009-2010 Vedic Science graduate program. That’s when he discovered the existence of Transcendental Meditation (TM). He credits TM for helping him reconnect to the inner reservoir of creative intelligence, the source of all that there is. After several months of TM, he decided he wanted to accelerate his spiritual growth and applied for and was accepted into the TM-Sidhi program, thereby becoming the first deaf person to do so. The purpose of the TM-Sidhi program is to accelerate the benefits gained from the TM technique by training the mind to think from the level of what is called Transcendental Consciousness, the mind’s source. He credits TM-Sidhi for taking his professional speaking and writing career to even greater heights.
As a transformational speaker, Stephen’s explosively powerful keynote speeches encompass the fundamental success and spiritual principles that govern and shape his life. Stephen’s gift is that he speaks from his heart, sharing poignant, yet humorous stories of a man who lives his life as a spiritually alive person connecting with others in the human experience, holding audiences spellbound.
Passionately taking his audiences on a spirited journey of self-discovery, Stephen shows how the principles he lives by can positively influence their thinking, actions, values and lives. He offers the insights necessary for individuals to transform themselves into the loving spiritual and human beings they ultimately want to become.
Audiences have said that when they heard him speak, their hearts opened, their minds were inspired and their bodies were moved into positive, life-transforming action, because after hearing his story, they could not possibly go back to “life as usual” and continue to make excuses for themselves. To book Stephen for a speaking engagement, please contact him at www.sjhopson.com.
Here’s a 10 minute speaking demo tape: