Goal setting

There must be something at stake in every story. If not, why get off the couch? Chapter three in your Story Cycle is about what you stand to gain or lose by taking action and by when. You must be specific about your goals and provide a deadline to achieve them. Deadlines create urgency in stories. 

For instance, Happy Gilmore had to abandon his hockey interests to pursue a golf career to make enough money to save his grandmother's house from foreclosure in a week. No deadline, no urgency.

What's at stake for you to complete this Story Cycle process? We believe the sooner you finish, the more proficient you will be at telling your story, and the greater impact you will have in your life. Inaction means status quo. 

Have you given yourself a deadline for completion?

Build trust, share beliefs, connect values and move people to action

What is ultimately at stake in telling your story is building trust with your audiences. We have been discussing the importance of sharing your beliefs and connecting your values, and this all starts by building trust through storytelling.

Neuroeconomist Paul Zak, the discoverer of the neurotransmitter oxytocin, and author of The Moral Molecule –  The Source of Love and Prosperity, describes in this TEDTalk his experiments that test how oxytocin helps people connect and build trustworthiness. This is a fascinating presentation, and watch how he slyly builds trust with you through the stories he tells.

Paul Zak TEDTalk: Trust, morality - and oxytocin

If you would like a deeper dive into the strucutre of his TEDTalk, answer the 10 questions in this post about how Zak uses storytelling to trigger oxytocin. 

Also, here is the short video he mentions that demonstrates how storytelling builds empathy in your audience for your journey. 

Empathy, Neurochemistry, and the Dramatic Arc: Paul Zak at the Future of StoryTelling 2012

Step: What do you stand to gain and/or lose and by when?

It's time to tell us what's at stake in your story. Please be specific about your short-, medium- and long-term goals and when these will be accomplished. 

Extra credit

If you were using the Story Cycle for your brand story, you would consider what's at stake for both your brand and your customers. What short-, medium- and long-term business goals do you have for your brand?

And what is at stake for your customers by choosing or not choosing to use your product or service? What do they want? When you help your customers get what they want, they will go out of their way to help you and your brand get what you want. 

Jot those thoughts down.

You know the drill by now, right? Once you've finished detailing what's at stake in your journey, click the "complete" button and move into Chapter 4, "Your Call to Adventure".

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  • Step: What do you stand to gain and/or lose and by when?