"The Circle Is An Idiot"

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"The Circle Is An Idiot"

As a follow up to last week's post about our innate story reflex, I thought I'd share this fun video of seven comedians taking the Heider Simmel test. These stories have characters, plots, motivations, resolutions, and even morals and dramatic tension.

 

Follow the link at the end of the video to make your own movies and write your own stories online courtesy of the USC Institute of Creative Technologies. (If they're still running their study, you'll be contributing to their research.) Enjoy!

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Do You Have The Story Reflex?

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Do You Have The Story Reflex?

You’re alone in your car, driving along a major US artery through a scarcely populated state. You’ve been on the road for hours, and it’ll be several more before you reach your destination. It’s late. You’re tired and hungry, but you see nowhere to stop.

 Suddenly, you spot the motel sign displayed below. Quick, what’s your gut reaction? Do you pull off the highway for a look-see? Or do you keep driving?

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Every Word, A Story

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Every Word, A Story

I'm fascinated by concepts that exist in one language but not another. Here's a lovely word from Urdu, the national language of Pakistan. "Suspension of disbelief" implies a decision, a willingness to go along. "Goya," to me, implies being carried away without realizing it's happening. For more fabulous concepts, check out the rest of the post here and buy the book here.

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Identity Story

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Identity Story

The past couple of weeks have been baffling, to say the least. I'm a Greek-American who’s grown up in Germany and who’s lived in Europe a lot longer than in the US. Quite apart from the anxieties we all share about the political and economic uncertainty ahead, the Greek crisis has raised deep questions about my identity.

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3 Ways We Deny Our Creativity

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3 Ways We Deny Our Creativity

In my story coaching practice, I hear people denying their innate creativity all the time. Surprisingly, this belief is present in the so-called creative professions almost as much as it is outside of them. 

 

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Our Little Human Lives

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Our Little Human Lives

I am fascinated by the question of why we tell stories. The answer will vary depending on who you ask. A psychologist might talk of dreams and memories, a sociologist about a cohesive force that binds us to one another, and a neuroscientist about how the brain is stimulated by narrative. Whatever the explanation, we end up at the same place: Human beings find meaning in story. 

The WHY TELL STORIES blog category is a place to gather insights from others who have contemplated this question before me. By listening to the thoughts of a broad variety of people across disciplines, we might shed some light on the mysteries of story.

I'll begin with a quote from American author Madeleine L'Engle. Enjoy!

"Stories make us more alive, more human, more courageous, more loving. Why does anybody tell a story? It does indeed have something to do with faith, faith that the universe has meaning, that our little human lives are not irrelevant, that what we choose or say or do matters, matters cosmically."

-- Madeleine L'Engle

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