Sunday, July 10, 2016

Reading Nerd

I love reading.

My mom used to say my real mother was my books. They still inform, console and inspire me.

I am currently reading a stack of books - mostly non-fiction as usual. Today's excerpt comes from, The Storyteller's Secret by Carmine Gallo.

I am fascinated by the power and medicine of storytelling.

I am writing a manuscript for a peer-reviewed journal about traumatic stress, family communication/storytelling and PTSD. I want it to be scientifically rigorous and tell a good story at the same time. Tall order, I know. I'm hoping this book gives me some tips about how to do this.

Here are the lines I've underlined so far:

"You're all brilliant...but many of you cannot tell an emotional story." Billionaire venture capitalist Vinod Khosla addressing an audience of entrepreneurs.

"...they all had to learn to tell a story if they hoped to change the world with their ideas."

"Ideas are the currency of the twenty-first century. In the information age, the knowledge economy, you are only as valuable as your ideas. Story is the means by which we transfer those ideas to one another. Your ability to package your ideas with emotion, context, and relevancy is the one skill that will make you more valuable in the next decade. Storytelling is the act of framing an idea as a narrative to inform, illuminate, and inspire."

"There's a difference between a story, a good story, and a transformative story that builds trust...and inspires people to dream bigger."

"Ideas that catch on are wrapped in story."

"...the art and science of storytelling to inspire, motivate, and, ultimately, to persuade others to take a desired course of action."

"The art of storytelling can be used to drive change. - Richard Branson"

"The ability to communicate ideas simply and clearly and to tell compelling stories is critical to standing apart in the marketplace of ideas. Technologists and scientists no longer talk to just their peers...They must translate the language of bits and bytes into a story every consumer understands."

"And the best of the best - the most admired storytellers - use 'multimodal communication' such as gestures, imitations, sound effects and songs."

"The Kalahari [Bushmen] storytellers learned that they had to deliver information, convey experiences, inspire and entertain. If people aren't entertained, they stop listening and go to sleep."

"Through stories and discussions people collected experiences of others and accumulated knowledge of options that others had tried. Night talk was critical for transmitting the big picture."

"More than 2,500 years ago a rhetorician named Gorgias learned that great storytellers can inspire audiences. He traveled around ancient Greece teaching rhetoric, specifically arguing that adding emotional stories in one's speeches can 'stop fear and banish grief and create joy and nurture piety.'"

"Emotion trumps logic. You cannot reach a person's head without first touching their heart and the path to the heart runs through the brain, starting with the amygdala."

"For many years medical researchers believed that people could only get addicted to drugs and alcohol. Then, neuroimaging technologies emerged that allowed researchers to see blood flow in the brain revealing that humans are also addicted to activities like sex, gambling, food and shopping. Some activities hijack the brain just as powerful drugs do. Drugs like heroin produce an especially powerful surge of dopamine - one so intense that a single hit can hook a person for life."

"The greatest waste is an unfulfilled ideas that fails to connect with audiences, not because it's a bad idea, but because it's not packaged in a way that moves people."

"...Steve Jobs 'reality distortion field,' a phrase coined to describe Job's mix of charisma and his ability to convince people that they could accomplish the impossible."

"Steve Jobs was intensely passionate at making an important difference in the lives of his fellow humans while he was on this planet. He never was into money or measured his life through owning stuff..."

"Every public presentation that Steve Jobs gave resembled a Broadway play and had all the classic components of a great narrative: sets and surprises, heroes and villains."

"Jobs combined passion, logic, and emotion to make a profoundly meaningful connection with his audiences."

"'Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become,' Jobs told the graduates."

"Passion is contagious. Passion is irresistible. Passion fuel the inner fire...Your passion is not a passing interest or even a hobby, but something that is intensely meaningful and core to your identity."

"The secret to success is to find something you love to do so much, you can't wait for the sun to rise to do it all over again." Chris Gardner (the man portrayed by actor Will Smith in the movie, Pursuit of Happiness)

"If you have yet to find your passion, ask yourself a better question. Don't ask, What do I want to do? Ask yourself, What makes my heart sing? Both questions will lead to very different answers."

"The question - what makes your heart sing - triggers a story. Facts alone don't inspire. The heart of your story gives facts their soul. Fact-filled PowerPoint presentations do not win hearts and minds; stories do. Well-designed slides complement the story, but the story must come first."

"Will its emotional hook inspire people to join the hero's journey?"

"Ask yourself, What makes my heart sing? The answer is the foundation upon which all great stories are built."

Good-night, my fellow passionate storytellers.

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