When I was a kid in high school I received a full ride scholarship for basketball to BYU.
I tell this story in my speech, but am taken to a new life journey when Mrs. Hall discovers my singing in the hall, takes me under her wing, CLARIFIES what I had yet to IDENTIFY so I can MAGNIFY my Promise – and the next thing you know I’m performing in Las Vegas!
And yet, I never resolve finishing the basketball story – mostly, because I forget to, and don’t think it’s important with the narrative of where I am headed next.
But then I have had so many people come up after the speech and ask, “What happened with the basketball scholarship?”
Apparently, it’s killing them inside wondering if I continued forth with basketball!
(Spoiler: The scholarship never manifested due to my serving a mission for my church and the coach who offered it getting a different job in the meantime!)
Sometimes we forget to end the story.
Other times we don’t think it’s that important.
However, it’s my bad, because to the listening and invested audience, even if I resolve the story of becoming a Legends in Concert performer in Vegas and Mrs. Hall was my mentor, I never closed the loop on the basketball story!
A Story is A Promise
As an Author, while I write, I am analyzing, editing, and reconstructing all the while during the writing process.
Sometimes it is grueling, other times quite enjoyable and euphoric.
But it wasn’t until recently that I realized – every story we tell is a Promise!
Think about it:
I begin telling you about the characters, the dilemma, perhaps the hero’s journey, I can go in any direction I want.
But I can’t leave you hanging.
That’s a broken promise!
Imagine Shakespeare giving us Romeo & Juliet, but he ends it just before the poison and dagger part…and yet never confirms there’s a Happily Ever After either.
Hmmmm. Not good.
Perhaps it is a magical thing, such as the ending scene of “Lost in Translation”, as Bob whispers to Charlotte on the street, and everyone leans forward to try and hear, then asks the person next to them if they heard it, and then desperately rewind the movie over and over to figure it out.
To Google we race! What did BOB SAY?!?
Well, the movie still keeps the Promise, it’s literally called “Lost in Translation”! LOL
But, it makes us wonder and leaves a loop open.
The story must be closed for us, as an audience, to feel The Promise is kept.
I learned this while watching Dan Brown’s Masterclass about writing.
You know Dan, he wrote The Da Vinci Code and other classics.
His first few video sections are about promises! I was thrilled.
And yes, a Story is a Promise.
It will take us on a journey, it should entertain, or move us, educate or disturb, and eventually, there is a resolution.
I am so guilty of forgetting to tie the story up in many instances, such as the basketball example I shared above.
But, now let’s come to you.
In your case, perhaps you don’t write or tell that many stories, but you certainly have opportunities every day to keep The Promise to finish what you started.
Consider the project in the garage; the podcast you began; the meal you’re making that is now burning because I distracted you with this blog….!
Finish the project, tie up the ribbon, stop scrolling social media and get back to that book, wrap up the story, and that’s a Promise kept.
Thank you to Dan Brown for this fascinating insight, and my apologies to all who have heard my basketball player to performer story, and my never closing the loop!
Please SUBSCRIBE to my NEW YouTube Channel if you’re ready to improve upon Your Leadership Promise!
~ Jason Hewlett
Husband, Father, Writer, Mentor, Hiker
- Speaker Hall of Fame * Award-Winning Entertainer * Mentor
- World’s Only Keynote Speaker utilizing entertainment, musical impressions, and comedy to teach The Promise
- Author of “The Promise To The One”