“Once upon a time…”
Ah, now I’ve grabbed your attention! That’s what stories do: they capture us — and, if we do our job well, they entrance us.
“Stories stick” – I love this phrase. I heard it on Dr. Rob Gilbert’s wonderful hotline* and it certainly stuck with me! In a world where we’re drowning in information and knowledge, where sorting and sifting through it all takes more time than ever, stories can save us.
And we all need them more than ever. To my mind, here’s why:
Stories get at the heart of things: Good stories pick and choose the information they give us and deliver it in a way that makes a point. At the end of a good story, we can usually see how every part added up to a whole. A story gathers information and momentum so we can see what really matters, what’s at the heart of the matter.
Stories have structure: A good story unfolds in a way that makes intuitive sense to us. It has a beginning, middle, and an end. It’s not just an aimless collection of random facts – it takes us from Point A to Point B to Point C. In a world where facts float by faster than we can absorb and use them, a story gives us a path: It marshals information in service of a goal. It imposes order. In a world where too much information comes at us every day, we need and crave this.
Stories clarify: The right information discovered at the right time can be illuminating. Too much information is just confusing and overwhelming. Stories help us sort through it all and make sense of it. They make things clearer, sharper: They cut through the chaos.
Stories rally us: A wonderful, uplifting story can energize and enliven us. It can encourage us to take action, to make something happen. It connects us to others and tells us we matter, that we can make a difference. It moves and motivates.
Wow, I could go on and on. As storytellers, we are awesomely important! What else makes stories stick in your mind? I’d love to hear from you as we all write on!
*Check out Dr. Gilbert’s fabulous hotline: 973.743.4690.