If you haven’t yet, check out my review of “Think and Grow Rich” Chapter 1. I go through the story of Edward C. Barnes, 3 feet from Gold and 50 cent Lesson in Persistence. Then, I talk about the nature of anecdotes, survivorship bias, and biology within human nature.
Napoleon Hill is big on stories. He starts of strong with 3 very memorable stories. I hear these stories talked about in various podcasts and shows. They’re all very compelling. There’s a relationship to the human brain and stories.
The human brain likes stories. It’s a really fun and easy way to store important information. We are very social creatures. As a result, stories are a way to convey information in the context of social settings. Physics and math textbooks can be boring. But when you discuss how Einstein discovered his theory of relativity, these very practical formulas and rulebooks come to life. It’s easier to understand and remember.
Stories are built on a series of drama, or dramatic events. Events that are noteworthy. (Example: the movie Avengers does not show the clips of Thor eating a cookie, or Iron Man brushing his teeth.) Dramatic things are also theatrical. Theatrical things are entertaining. However, dramatic and theatrical things are not always true. In fact, they can be far from it.
What’s going on here?
Stories are a fun and easy way to understand and remember information among social beings. However, since they rely on the dramatic and theatrical, they skew the information towards only note-worthy things. This creates a distortion in reality where you believe life is meant to be dramatic and the other parts never existed.
Isn’t that what social media is all about? The dramatic and theatrical presentation of our lives? Of others lives? Add a little photoshop or editing here and there? We become master of our own stories through filters, posing, lighting, and curated experiences.
But what is Reality?
This is at the heart of why “self-help” doesn’t work. It seeks to grab you with the dramatic when the true engine of success comes from the everyday, mundane decisions to do the right thing. That’s hard to do but rarely celebrated.
See you in Chapter 2.
Chez Eric Media