Steve Harvey’s says ‘Anything is possible!’ While Celebrating International Happiness Day at Expo 2020 Dubai

19 min readMar 22, 2022


Hollywood heavyweight Steve Harvey applauded the UAE as a country of possibilities as he addressed fans at Expo 2020 Dubai’s Al Wasl Plaza on International Day of Happiness on Sunday (20 March). What was expected to be a question-and-answer session, turned out to be an excellent motivational an inspirational talk, which touched on numerous topics, ranging from faith, imagination, through to poverty, and the dangers for social media.

Steve Harvey


Steve Harvey is an American television host, actor, writer, producer, and comedian. He hosts The Steve Harvey Morning Show, Family Feud, Celebrity Family Feud, the Miss Universe competition, Family Feud Africa, and arbitration-based court comedy, Judge Steve Harvey.

Harvey began his career as a comedian. He did stand-up comedy in the early 1980s and hosted Showtime at the Apollo and The Steve Harvey Show . He was later featured in The Original Kings of Comedy after starring in the Kings of Comedy Tour. He performed his last stand-up show in 2012.

Harvey is the host of both Family Feud and Celebrity Family Feud, which he has done since 2010. He has also hosted Little Big Shots, Little Big Shots Forever Young, and Steve Harvey’s Funderdome.

As an author, he has written four books, including his bestseller Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, which was published in March 2009. He began by praising the international collaboration of Expo 2020 Dubai as a testament to what the world can achieve.


Ah, if you put your phones down you can clap, if you put your phones down you can clap. I need that — wow, this is, this is bigger than I thought. How you all doin? Dubai, how are you doing? I love you all thank you, wow, I love you all — this is, this is the place right here — man.

Everybody in here got a camera (laugh). Wow! They got a seat for me but, if I sit in a seat, I’m gonna have my back to a lot of people so, I’m gonna just stand up and walk around like the player I am, so, I always do it like this.


First of all, let me say this, I am honoured that you’d even have me. God has been good to me. I umm, I come from nothing. I grew up very poor, I come from nothing to be who I am today, it’s been an amazing journey. It’s been, it’s been nothing short of amazing. I would not be here today if it was not for my faith, my faith in God has gotten me through every hard time I’ve ever been in and He’ll do the same thing for you. See, when they asked me to speak on this day of happiness, at first, they told me it was gonna be, I thought it was a Q&A, I was gonna come into this small room with 200 people and I was gonna take questions. Well we aint in a room and there ain’t 200 people so, I was kinda surprised.

But when I talk to people, what I try to get people to develop is the correct mind set. Listen to me, you can be anything you wanna be, I don’t care — it makes me no different. Who am I to decide for you what you should do with your life. What you should do with your life is between you and your Creator. That is the only determining factor — you and your God — that’s it. What anybody else says, it doesn’t matter. My life is where it is because this is the life that God ordained for me to have. God has plans for you to prosper. God does not create you to be poor.


If you are poor, listen to me, you have to change your mindset. It is your mindset that gets you to where God has for you. If you change your mindset, you change your position. If change your attitude, you change your altitude — period — that’s how it works. That’s how it works. Listen to me. It does not matter where you’re from, it don’t matter what your parents said to you. It doesn’t matter if your Father left, it doesn’t matter if you’ve been adopted. It don’t matter if you’re a refugee. It don’t matter if you’re an immigrant. It don’t matter man if you didn’t get the proper education, — it don’t matter.

Where in the Bible, or where in the Quran does it mention education. Is there a school written, is New York City University written in the Bible or the Quran? Is some famous University in London, is it written in the Bible or the Quran? — nah — you know why its not in there, because it don’t matter. The only thing that matters is the dream that God has put in you from birth. All of you dream of something. All of you sit around and you have these wondrous thoughts of what your life could be and you constantly struggle with how to get your life there. Let me tell you something. The two most important days of your life are the day you’re born and the day you discover why. I want to help you to discover why. Because that’s the troubling point for all you young people. You keep trying to figure out, what is my next move, what should I do next, what should I do for a living, what’s my next job, where do I go. You keep trying to come up with this decision.


Have you ever thought that they best way to determine what your purpose is or what your goal or your dream is — don’t you think it would be better if you asked the person who created you. It’s God. God is the one who knows why you are here. He is the reason you were born today. All of you here are born — nobody is born by mistake. God don’t make mistakes. Ah — thank you. Just put that on the ground somewhere — I get it. So listen. What I’m trying to get you to understand is, if God determined that you are here then all you have to do now is ask God why did He bring you into this world. It wasn’t your Mother or Father’s Idea. It was not their idea — it was God’s idea. He came up with you and let me tell you something about Him.

You are so special to God that do you know there are 8 billion people in the world, none of us have the same fingerprint. He made 8 billion people plus the ones that’s dead, that’s probably another 8 billion, so all these people that He’s ever created, He never gave any of us the same fingerprint. You know why, because you special — you special man — God made you special.

All of you are special, all of you were uniquely created by your heavenly Father and I don’t care what you call Him — it don’t matter to me, as long as you believe in Him. You got different names but it’s only one, that God created you to be special, so what you have to do is, you have to get to the why to, so now let me tell you how that’s done (I can’t open this water — thank you man (laugh) thank you man). He said let me help you Steve. I got it.


Ok now, let me tell you something, everyone in here should do. I want to talk to you for a moment about your imagination. I wanna talk to you about this thing that’s called your imagination. I wanna explain your imagination to you because people don’t understand exactly what you imagination is about. See you think, and a lot of people think that your imagination is just you sitting around having some random thoughts that are just over the top. Oh that makes no sense, he’s crazy, he’s imagining things. Albert Einstein, one of the most ingenious people born so they say, he had a quote, he said, imagination is everything — it is the preview to life’s coming attraction.

Listen to me, imagination is everything it’s the preview to life’s coming attractions. So what you have to understand is, everything you see — look, this Expo — this whole Expo; somebody imagined this; this city of Dubai; the city of Abu Dhabi; the UAE — the leadership imagined this, they imagined it. That’s why it is what it is because they imagined it. They believed in their imagination — everything you see comes from somebody’s imagination. This Dome we in, somebody imagined this. That building right there, somebody imagined it. These camera phones that you have. When I was a little boy, nobody had a cell phone.

But you know what, some old person, your Grandmama, got tired of talking on the phone with that cord connected to the wall and she was trying to go somewhere and it was connected to the wall and your old Grandmama said, one of her friends, I sure wish I could go over there with this telephone. Now guess what, everybody in here has a telephone that goes all over the world and you can talk on it because it starts with your imagination, so now listen to this.

Everything you imagine, here’s the part you gotta get, pay attention to me, cause listen to me I know what I am talking about. Cause I don’t have an education, I’m an uneducated man. I went to high school that’s it, I went to college flunked out, I aint got no degree, I aint got no, I don’t know how to be no engineer, I can’t be no doctor, I not that educated, but oh let me tell you something, my imagination, when I was so poor, when we had nothing, I dreamed of being rich one day. I imagined that one day I would be rich. Listen to me, everything you imagine is God showing you a preview of a coming attraction He has for you. That’s what your imagination is. Everything you imagine is God’s way of showing you what He has for you. That’s what your imagination is.


The problem is you tell your imagination to the wrong people. How many times have you had a wonderful idea that you thought was perfect and you went and you shared your idea with your Mother and your Father and you shared the idea with your friend and they said no, no, how could you do that? There is no way you’re going to be rich, there is no way you can open a business. We are working people, we are farmers, there is no way you can start your own car service, just be a driver, there is no way that you will ever be a Government official, we are just regular people, there is no way you can own a carpet store, we just make the carpet, there is no way.

How many times have you been told there was no way. Now you know why they said there was no way, because God didn’t put it in their imagination, He put it in your imagination. If he’d wanted them to see it, he would’ve showed it to them, but He didn’t show it to them, He showed it to you. It’s God’s way of showing you a preview of a coming attraction He has for you. So, everything you’ve been imagining, you should start believing because that’s God showing you what can happen. Stop writing it off, you gonna be fine, You can do it. Now is it going to be hard? Yes. Are you going to fall along the way? Yes. Are you going to mess your life completely up sometimes? Yes.


Are you going to get a divorce? Yeah. Oh yeah. Ohhh yeah. I’m talking to myself now. Oh yes. Are your children gonna grow up and do things that you taught ’em not to do? Yes. But you know why they’re gonna make mistakes, cause you made mistakes. But in all of the times that you fall and all of the times you get it wrong, your heavenly Father always picks you up because he has a mission for you, he has a plan and that is to make you dreams come true and He puts your dreams in your imagination. I hope you all are listening to me. Don’t just stand there and take my picture, I’m really trying to tell you something that can really help you man. You ain’t got to be sitting up in here.

Let me tell you something, if you sick of being poor, if you sick and tired of being poor, you can do something about that you know, you can make the decision to change that. The moment you change your mind, things around you change. Oh let me show you something. See, the Bible says, a man is as he thinketh, so what that means is how you think that’s how you are. I’m pretty that’s in the Quran somewhere because it’s a serious principal that you are what you think. The thoughts that you send out is a signal of what you want to come back.

Let me show you sum’n . I love you too, I didn’t even look at you but I love you too. I hope you’re not beautiful, but I love you too (laughs). Ahhh, oh yes, she’s fine, oh yeah, don’t look over there no more Steve, can’t get another divorce.


What was I gonna tell you? I wanna show you something. When you go home let me teach you how your mind works. If you go home and you pick up the remote on your TV and you point the remote at your TV and you press the on button, the red button to turn it on, what happens? What happens? The TV comes on. You don’t even think about it, you just take the remote, point it at the TV, boom guess what, it comes on. Let’s say you want to watch your favourite TV show.

The Steve Harvey show. The Steve Harvey show comes on channel 89. If you press 8 9 and select and point it at the TV, what happens? The Steve Harvey shows comes on TV. If you want to watch soccer and soccer is on channel 141, you press 141 and you press select and you point it at the TV, guess what comes on your TV, soccer. You know why? Because that’s the law of attractive. A man is as he thinketh. They stole that from the religious writings and put it into a remote control. It’s how your mind works. If you think you’re poor, you will be poor.


Ladies, if you think all men are dogs, you are going to meet all of them, because that’s what you keep saying. You keep saying all men are dogs, here they come — woof, woof, woof, they’re everywhere. This how it works. See it’s a very simple thing, the thing that you want the most of is the thing you have to give out.

Let me show you something. If you want more people to shake your hand, you know what you gotta do, you gotta walk around and stick your hand out to more people. Now everybody not gonna shake your hand, but if you stick your hand out 50 times a day, 30 people gonna shake your hand. If you want more people to smile at you, you know what you gotta do, you gotta walk around and smile with more people. They gonna smile back. What you send out is what comes back to you. That’s how this works man. You ain’t gotta have education, you gotta get your mind right.

You gotta develop the mindset. You can be anything you wanna to be. You think I got here because what, I was smart. I am not really that smart, but I got big dreams though, and I got a big imagination and I keep believing in that imagination and I won’t let nothing stop me from getting the stuff I imagine. I dream about imagining a big house, I’m gonna get the big house. If I imagine myself with a new car, I get a new car. If I imagine myself getting a better job, I get a better job. Cause that’s the button I press on my remote control and guess what, that’s the signal that comes back. Flat out, that’s how it works.

Ok, ok, Im gonna tell you right now, you don’t have to believe me, you don’t, you can do it your way.


Here is the second part. Faith is the key component to success. Young people listen to me. You try to do this without God, you ain’t gonna make it. You ain’t gonna make it. Sorry. Sorry. You not gonna make it without God. It’s impossible. You know how I know? Cause I tried it. I tried to make it without God. I quit talking to Him. I quit praying. You’all go to pray a lot over here.

My business partner’s Muslim. He pray a lot. He made me pray more. We’d be in the middle of a meeting he says, hold on man I gotta go pray and I go oh ok. He go in one room, I leave him alone, I sit in my chair I pray too, because you not going to make it without that. I’m sorry, I don’t wanna sound like your Grandmother, I don’t wanna sound like your Mama always telling you what to do. I’m just telling you facts. There is no way I could have made it without God.

Now what you call God is your business. I happen to be a Christian. A lot of you are Muslims. God made all of us. You my brothers, you my sisters, cause you Muslim, cause you Hindu, that don’t mean nothing to me. We brothers, we sisters, you Buddhist? we brothers, we sisters. It’s one God. You can wrap it in any package you want to. It’s God man, I’m just telling you the facts. Your imagination in God gets you to where you want to get. That’s how I got here. You looking at a man that messed his who life up.

My Father was a coal miner. He worked in the coal mine. He had five children. My father made $5 a day. In the United States, $5 in the United States. Do you know how poor you are making $20 a week in the United States of America? (laughs). Come on man — all they preach over there is money. Trust and believe me when I tell you this. They measure you based on your money over there. That’s just the system, it’s a capitalistic system, it’s what we under. We had nothing. That’s what I come from and I watched my Father work t’il he died, but God had put in my imagination something else.

I wouldn’t wanna work in the coal mine — I didn’t wanna be no farmer. I wanna be a TV star. I told everybody when I was 10 years old I’m gone be a TV star. Oh they laughed at me, oh they laughed at me so hard, yeah but look at me now though, who laughed at now (laughs), oh it’s funny now. Because I didn’t listen to nobody. God showed it to me in my imagination and here I am today, I’m in Dubai. Look man, I’m a little black boy from Welch, West Virginia, I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, I come from nothing. I’m in Dubai on the world stage. I’m in a Dome. This is crazy man. I’m just trying to tell you, that’s how crazy your imagination really is.


Well — faith. Listen to me. First of all, faith will never go away. Faith will never go out of style. You can start thinking you don’t need it, but you will eventually need it. Before you leave this world on your journey you will recognise that God is who He is and you will have to, you will have to honour that. But what we, what’s happening with young people today is the internet.

See, the internet got a lot of young people, because of Instagram and YouTube. These is the highlight reels of people’s lives. All you seeing is the best moment they got. They post it, they re-post, they got they best shoe on, got they best purse, they only purse, got they best dress, got their hair just right, they got a filter on they face, that ain’t who they really look like and they post this picture and they got everybody thinking, oh my God, their life is gorgeous, what am I doing wrong?

Listen to me, that’s one picture and it’s got young people thinking everything is instant. Everything is instant because you can google stuff instantly. You can just google it and it pops up, so it has young people thinking that they can just pop up like you see people show up and you think wow, they come out of nowhere. Nobody comes out of nowhere. You been getting made from the time you were born. There’s no such thing as come out of nowhere.

Stop looking at Instagram and the internet, trying to determine to adjust your life, cause you don’t even know what’s behind that picture, that picture of this wonderful woman. She probably crazy. Matter of fact, I bet she’s crazy. That, that life you see, you got people posing on private jets. Do you know in the United States that you can rent a private jet for $400 to take pictures on it? A $1000 and you can bring 5 people on, take pictures on it for $1000 but you gotta get off. You not going nowhere on no private jet for no thousand dollars. You see all these people taking pictures. Don’t let these rappers fool you man. Half dem chains ain’t real. All them women ain’t they women, that money on the table ain’t they money and that house they shooting that video in is not they house.

Listen to me young people, to make a lot of money it takes a long time. There’s no instant rich people. So get that out your head and I’m just telling you, like the young lady said, lot of young people are leaning towards being an atheist. I don’t have no conversation for atheists. If you an atheist go ahead, try, let me know how that work out for you. I got no conversation for atheist. You wanna be an atheist, do you. I ain’t that good a Christian, no way, cause, I’m not trying talk you into having a faith if you don’t want to have it, if you don’t want to have it, don’t have it, just let me know how that work out for you.


There is a scripture that says write the vision and make it plain. A big part of your success comes in what you write. Writing, it is very important. Every law you have in this country is written somewhere. The speed limit is written on the sign. The directions to the Museum, to the Mosque to the Burj Khalifa is written somewhere. Writing it is very important. Everything you dream about you should have it written on a piece of paper. You have to have a vision board. You’ve gotta put you’re your visions on a piece of paper. Put it on your phone. My iPhone, I wish I had it with me. My iPhone don’t have a picture of a dog or some flowers on it. My iPhone — the home screen has my vision board on it, things that I dream of, how much I wanna make, the countries; the UAE flag is on my vision board. The continent of Africa is on my vision board, Botswana is on my vision board. Everything, I got everything on my vision board that I’m hoping to accomplish.


I wanna to bring children from the United States to the UAE in an exchange program so they can see what this part of the world is like. You all are taking for granted what you have here. Look at you, you standing around. Nobody’s pushing, nobody stabs, nobody shooting, nobody picking your pocket. Nobody stealing your car in the parking lot. Do you understand that that is not how the rest of the world is? I come here 4 times a year so I can experience peace to walk down the street and nobody’s shooting at me. You’ve never been shot at, nobody never stole your car. I’ve had 4 cars stolen.

I’ve been robbed at gunpoint 4 times in my life. They broken into my house when I was poor, when I was rich. They climbed over my gate. This is the country, where you live you don’t have that. Are you kidding me? You don’t even understand what you have. This is one of the safest places to make your dreams come true. Are you kidding me? I’m a tell you something else, you actually have no excuse, you really don’t. I’m sorry, I don’t know, Uncle Steve don’t want to break your heart, but you actually have no excuse.


Do you know that there’s an office, I saw an office in Dubai, it’s called The Office of Possibilities. I’ve only seen it one time, that absolutely blew my mind. They have an office here where if you have an idea that you think is possible, they help you make it possible. It’s called Office of Possibilities.

I would love to stay and talk, but I have to go. Hey listen, I love you all, Thank you so much. Always remember your imagination is everything. It’s the preview to life’s coming attraction.


Harvey is the founder of the Steve & Marjorie Harvey Foundation, a philanthropic organization that provides youth outreach services. The foundation hosts a yearly camp for fatherless children and also partnered with Kent State University to provide scholarships to the school. Harvey is also a partner with Walt Disney World Resort and Essence for the Disney Dreamers Academy, a yearly workshop at Walt Disney World for 100 students.

Written and Edited By Delroy Constantine-Simms

Transcribed by Maureen Drackett-Fuller

Additional Comments by Paul Armstrong