Stories make us feel good. Yup, that good.
According to novelist and neurologist, Robert Burton, when we hear something with a beginning, middle, and an end, we get a hit of dopamine. Dopamine is our natural feel-good, high chemical. This is why we love and are addicted to stories. From childhood fairytales to novels, to TV shows and movies, stories have us hooked.
From an evolutionary standpoint getting high on stories makes sense. Stories serve many purposes in society. A few of the primary functions are to educate, inspire, motivate or entertain. A story that creates a shared point of view allows us to see from the same place of understanding. This is key to creating a culture of agreement and shared values.
The following is a story my mother told me about road safety when I was a little girl.
When my mother was a girl she lived next door to a boy who liked to play basketball in his front yard. One day, when he was playing ball, it bounced out into the street. He ran after it, without looking both ways. A car swerved to miss him, but it was too late. He was rushed to the hospital with a broken leg and needed a cast. Even worse than that he needed bed rest and his birthday was a few days away. He had to miss his own birthday party. And that’s why you always look both ways before crossing the road.
When you are a kid death is a big concept to grasp. Even as an adult, it is difficult to come to terms with. But missing your own birthday party? That is terrible, we all know that!
I am now an adult, but I will never forget that story. It has taught me to remember to look before crossing the street and become a useful storytelling tool. Thanks, Mum!
It is a simple story, but the message is clear, ‘Always look both ways before crossing the road.’
Are there any challenges you are facing within your business or organisation? A simple story maybe just the thing you need. Imagine a story that explains how a product or service works, or a narrative that inspires your customers to follow you on a social media storytelling journey.
A narrative strategy could be just the ticket. A narrative strategy uses the power of stories within your personal or professional realm to create a strategic way to inspire, education or motivate your employees, co-workers or clients.
I used the story of the little boy who missed his own birthday to explain how attaching a story to a message is effective. It conveys a message in a memorable and efficient way. The right stories addressing the right pain points within your business or organisation will create the same results.
If you want a hit of story, get in touch about my mini-narrative strategy sessions. I come to your location and run a short session to create a story for a problem that you need to solve.
Feed your story addition with me, it will feel good, I promise!