How Your Brain is Wired For Story

Jaime Mintun Brain & Body Talk 0 Comments

If you’re pressed for time, I recommend tuning in at aroud 2:53 where she explains that her big Ah-Ha moment was realizing that what she deeply believed to her core could be vastly different from what she felt to be true in her lived experience, due to the ability of stories (including those in commercials) to convince her of their version of reality.

If you’re REALLY pressed for time, tune in at about 5:57 where she begins to really dive into how to change people’s thinking (and your life), and why story is more important than exposition or fact.

Other Highlights:

  • Seeing the world through a story’s lens can change that way one sees their world… and can change the way one sees themselves. [Wielded purposefully, the structure of story can be used to shift hardwired perspectives, beliefs and emotional patterns in the brain that ‘positive thinking’ and other mental efforts cannot change.]

    {brackets are my addition to tie this back to how I work with story structure to help you re-author your life}

  • Most of the protests and movements during the 60’s cited the novel To Kill a Mockingbird as the catalyst that sparked their movement
  • You can’t change the way someone thinks about something until you can change the way they feel about it ~ and that requires emotionally investing them in a story
  • Have you ever encountered someone with the opposite political leaning as you, and you thought, “If I can just get them to understand the real facts here, they’ll get my point of view and agree with me… so let me just explain it all to them one more time…” This is what we do and to everyone’s frustration, it never works
  • The only way to ovveride anything that is hardwired into the architecture of a person’s brain, i.e. their worldview, their beliefs, their habits, and the direction of their life due to those… is through story. It is the only way, because the brain is wired specifically to the structure of story because story provides a context for the facts so the brain can make sense of them and retain them.
  • Without story, we wouldn’t have anything other than the omnipresent now, because story allows us to imagine into the future, and to construct our memories of the past. It’s what allows us to craft meaning from our experiences and to associate a past experience with a current event {and to make meaningful decisions based on that}.
  • Story feels good for the same reason food tastes good ~ because without it we wouldn’t survive.

This video gives a short overview of why it’s important to understand that the brain is wired for story. To understand how, and the ways the brain reacts to story {such as triggering the neurotransmitter dopamine when you hear a story to keep you interested till you hear how it all ends ~ as it was often life-saving information for our ancestors}, you might want to check out Lisa Cron’s book on the subject:

Wired for Story: The Writer’s Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence

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