Why We Hang Our Hats on Hope
I believe that hope, when deeply rooted in certainty, is an unstoppable force.
A force that you will harness, with a simple understanding of where it comes from and how to cultivate it.
By inspiring hope in others, we can define a purpose that others can feel, connect with, and understand. It’s for that reason Chatham Road Studio exists with the goal of “sharing stories that inspire hope.” Briefly, I’ll share my thoughts on where hope comes from, how a deeply rooted hope can shape your future, and why it is the driving force behind my vision for Chatham Road Studio.
“In short, [hope] is a powerful ideal capable of altering history, yet is humble enough to make a difference in anyone’s life.” -Gurdeep Pandher
There’s good news and bad news: The good news is that hope often arises from a significant problem. This means that our struggles, failures, or simply our problems in life and with the world can give birth to an idea and a belief that will radically shape the future we’re headed toward.
The bad news is this: we must go through those struggles, experience those failures, and wrestle with the problems we’ve found to develop our greatest ideas.
One of the most profound realizations of my life has been coming to understand that one person with an unshakably certain belief can change the entire course of history. There are countless examples, both good and bad, in which a person believed in an idea with unwavering certainty and defied all odds. To be a total nerd for a moment, I’ll give George Lucas and Star Wars as an example.
When George Lucas finally received permission to make the first Star Wars movie, it was in the wake of his success directing American Graffiti. He had been paid $150,000 to direct the movie as a new and unproven director. During negotiations with Fox for the budget to make Star Wars, Lucas was offered $500,000 to direct the movie. In a brilliant move, he declined the nearly 300% pay-raise in exchange for two seemingly insignificant requests:
1) That he would retain all merchandising rights.
2) That he would retain rights to any sequels.
Because no one could see or understand a market for a series of “westerns set in space,” as Lucas thought of them, the requests were readily fulfilled.
Because of his certainty that his stories would in fact inspire hope in others and create a connection with the audience, Lucas traded $350,000 for rights to his idea.
George Lucas is now worth $5.5 Billion (USD). Well played, sir.
I believe that the formula underlying the success of Star Wars was two-fold:
1) Lucas was certain of a future that he hoped for.
2) Lucas conveyed that hope to others, sharing stories that inspired them.
Let’s remember the title of the first movie: “Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.”
The goal at Chatham Road Studio is to identify the purpose of those whose stories we share and to pass on that certainty about a better future, a solved problem, or a triumph over struggle to those who need it. It’s in our mission statement:
Chatham Road Studio works with organizations who have defined a problem and have made it their mission to solve that problem. We help our audience feel a connection with our clients through engaging material that creates understanding and inspires hope. We are here, first and foremost, to know ourselves and know one another. We create unity and empower those around us to succeed.
My job is to communicate the purpose of my clients. When we can effectively create a connection that helps others to understand each other, we count that as a success. In my experience, the guaranteed way to create that connection is to inspire hope in others.
With hope, we have a foundation for our purpose.
With hope, we have a clear direction and future goals.
With hope, we can inspire others to join us on our journey.
“If I could find a way to package and dispense hope, I would have a pill more powerful than any antidepressant on the market…
Hope is the belief that circumstances will get better. It’s not a wish for things to get better — it’s the actual belief…” -Dale Archer, MD