5 Elements of Powerful Stories

Here are five elements that you will help you tell more powerful stories:

  1. Powerful stories resonate within us. A good story connects in your soul. We’ve all read or been told stories where the actions of the characters have stirred something inside of us. We identify with the heroes and the villains, because we all have those tendencies inside of us. Look for ways where your story shares a common thread with the story of humanity.
  2. Powerful stories show the light and the dark. Whether you are telling a personal story, or a fictional one, it’s tempting to make the hero invincible and the villain the very definition of evil. But this is rarely the case, and something people cannot relate to. When something goes right in our life, it’s easy to celebrate. When something goes wrong, and we make a mistake, it is crucial to be honest and work toward making the wrong right. In most cases, people will forgive the mistakes they are made aware of but are furious when even little things are covered up or ignored.
  3. Powerful stories point to a greater cause. In the movie Gladiator, the dying emperor Marcus Aurelius, asks Maximus, Marcus: “Why are we here?
    Maximus: “For the glory of Rome”
    Marcus: “What is Rome, Maximus?”
    Maximus: “I have seen much of the world, and it is cold, and dark. Rome is the light”
    Marcus: “Yet you have never been there!
    Maximus believed in the glory and purpose of Rome, despite having never seen it. What purpose do you live and work for, despite it only being a whisper in your soul?
    Your company, and your life, is not about you! This can be the hardest lesson we ever learn. Our lives must point to a purpose greater than our own well-being. People will rarely align with your self-interest, but they will align for a common goal.

 

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Matt Ragland

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