Why Hopeistan?

Journey to its genesis. How a multi year social experiment led to Hopeistan and why does it matter going forward.


Khawaja Saud Masud

1/1/20243 min read

After 3.5 years of running a social experiment called Share, Learn & Grow (SLG), I arrived at a crossroads. End the experiment and be grateful for the unbelievable community building journey or up the ante! SLG came about because of the impact of Coronavirus pandemic on myself and people around me - it was a global pause that made the world reflect and reassess many things from how we work to why we were living the way we were. SLG started in 2020 and was an effort to give people hope and guidance on how to navigate adversity. My life experiences, role as a teacher, mentor and coach gave me the green signal to become a community builder, something I had zero experience in. The virus pushed me forward!

But now, in later part of 2023, and after a few months of brainstorming and counseling with inner circle or 'deep tribe' I decided to take SLG to the next level. This evolution would have to be beyond motivation, information sharing and basic community bonding. 'SLG 2.0' had to be about systemizing and productizing change in order to scale practical personal development and it’s impact on the person and the community. In other words, scale hope - my choice of impactivism.

I believe the genesis of all positive change is hope and is something we need to proactively pursue or we resign to accepting both status quo and negative change. Hope has to be engaged directly and nurtured or it fizzles. In my interactions with SLG members, I noticed that despite the world largely recovering from the Coronavirus pandemic, individuals and communities were still struggling in all the ways they have struggled before and maybe even more now. They were falling victim to status quo and negative change and not being as hopeful as they were emerging from the Coronavirus crisis. I visibly noticed 'hope fatigue.' Maybe people were tired of hoping their jobs would return or their relationships repaired, maybe some were mentally disoriented and eventually drained from the disruption, maybe others were physically struggling from unhealthy lifestyles, putting on weight or getting diagnosed with chronic diseases, etc. From students to athletes to entrepreneurs to single parents to social workers to the average person looking to prioritize his health or relationships or finances or sometimes all three, it was evident to me that for vast majority of people, hope was on the decline. Against a tsunami of negative sociopolitical events, economic stressors and growing social media noise, if real positive change were to take place in people’s lives, hope would have to not just survive but thrive. Hence Hopeistan was born.

Hopeistan is the land of hope where real hope drives real change in one’s life. Hope is the primary determinant of success, more than intelligence, skill or previous success. According to positive psychologist C. R. Synder's Hope Theory, hope is more specific than general optimism or a positive attitude and is defined as the perceived capability to derive pathways to desired goals, and motivate oneself via agency thinking to use those pathways. Think G.P.A. when thinking of cultivating hope.

  1. Goal orientation - set meaningful targets in various aspects of life

  2. Pathways thinking - if one way doesn't work, there will be alternate routes to the destination (multiple strategies to achieve same goal)

  3. Agency thinking - I can do this and will do this! (being self-motivated and having a cause-and-effect mindset)

In short, hope is optimism with a plan and it can be learned. What can be learned can also be scaled to greater affect. Through Hopeistan, we intend to build awareness around real hope, empower individuals with real tools to upgrade their lives and activate real communities to force multiply hope and its positive impact on all.

A Hopeistani aims to live a fulfilling and productive life while becoming a pillar for his or her community. A Hopeistani also takes pride in driving one’s own destiny and being one’s own hero - courageous and self reliant. A Hopeistani takes complete ownership of all life’s experiences and embraces “Amor Fati” or love of one’s fate, while aiming for the stars. A Hopeistani doesn’t hope without action for he knows deliberate and disciplined action is the bridge between wishing and achieving. A Hopeistani also believes in his heart of hearts that everything is ‘figureoutable’ if one truly commits. Finally, a Hopeistani chooses to live with enthusiasm or ‘inspired by the divine’ - a sense of purpose and meaning that goes far beyond one’s own short lived existence.

Become a 'Hopesitani Hero' and help make hope go viral!