The abundance of information readily available has given us a certain degree of laziness to reading, interpreting and conceptualizing information. Let’s face it, if a video doesn’t grab you in the first three seconds you go on to the next, if the first 2-3 sentences of a book aren’t captivating you look for another. I’d even argue that it only takes the first 3-5 words to lose us when it comes to online content… And this is why storytelling is a key platform in which we communicate. It simplifies the art of reading and interpreting, it connects that a story has a beginning middle and end, and if you hold on you will go on that roller coaster with guarantee. A good leader, a great marketer, and the most brilliant authors and philosophers need storytelling to captivate people in order to hold them long enough to inspire.
Let me give you an example, call it ‘philosophical A/B testing’. Below I will communicate a simple message on what it takes to have success, one will use storytelling, the other a more general means.
In the end I hope you reflect on which one resonates with you more, which one you are drawn to, which one you would share with a friend as an anecdote.
1. We achieve great success by wanting it as much as we want air. A person must persevere in today’s society and push beyond their limits to obtain what they want. The possibilities will be endless once a goal is set and the mindset aligns with it. Are you still reading this? Kind of boring? You’ve read something like this before right, where you feel the author is speaking at you from a pedestal instead of taking you on a shared journey.
Lets try this another way…
2. A young man asked Socrates, an ancient Greek philosopher, the secret of Success. Socrates told the young man to meet him near the river the next morning. They met.
Socrates asked the young man to walk with him toward the river.
When the water got up to their necks, Socrates took the young man by surprise and ducked him into the water. The man struggled to get out but Socrates was strong and kept him under water until he started turning blue.
The young man struggled hard and finally managed to get up. The first thing he did was to gasp and take a deep breath.
Socrates asked, “What did you want the most when you were under the water?”
The man replied “Air”.
Socrates said: “That’s the secret to success. When you want success as badly as you want air, you will get it. There is no other secret”.
Let me know what you think? How do you use storytelling?