Stories can capture and direct attention.
Steven Spielberg said: "The most amazing thing for me is that every single person who sees a movie brings a whole set of unique experiences. But through careful manipulation and good storytelling, you can get everybody to clap at the same time, to laugh at the same time, and to be afraid at the same time."
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Stories can squeeze the full potential out of something with less effort.
Trying to explain something difficult with only facts and figures is often dead to the hearer. Part of what made Albert Einstein so talented was his imagination and ability to break complexity down into a simple picture. He considered gravity by imagining bowling balls and billiard balls competing for space on a trampoline surface.
It is not the person who has the best idea or the right answer that wins. It is the person who tells the most compelling story that wins.
Many successes work this way. Tesla is worth seven times more than GM and Ford combined, not because it built a good business but because Elon Musk is good at getting peoples attention.
Rory Sutherland stated that "It seems likely that the biggest progress in the next 50 years may come not from improvements in technology but in psychology and design thinking. Put simply, it’s easy to achieve massive improvements in perception at a fraction of the cost of equivalent improvements in reality."
Many ideas that have already been discovered could grow so much more if someone just explained them better.
"The best arguments in the world won’t change a single person’s mind. The only thing that can do that is a good story."
In this world of uncertainties, nothing but death and taxes are sureshot in our lives.
There are however some assumptions that withstand the test of time. These assumptions take into account basic human psychology and historical data.
Our predictions usually seem to fall towards extremes, either too optimistic or too pessimistic. We underestimate how bad things can be in the short term, and how much better they can eventually turn out to be in the longer run. This leads to bad decisions, laughably wrong forecasts and predictions and a lot of confusion.
A reasonably optimistic person is a little cautious, a little cynical, and expects surprises, setbacks, bewilderment and disappointment.
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