The death of stories

Feelings don't care about your facts

The death of stories

This week:

  • Musings: The Death of Stories
  • Questions: Consistency
  • Resources: Pat Kay
  • Personal Updates: Small wins

The Death of Stories

I was never one who was big into fiction or art.

I had a couple series I enjoyed in school (Percy Jackson, Hunger Games, Rangers Apprentice), but as I started high school, I was more concerned with science and mathematics.

Facts and logic became the main values of any discussion or decision. Pros and cons lists. Ranked priorities. Objective impact.

But as I'm beginning my journey to grow up, I'm realizing just how little facts and logic matter.

"Feelings don't care about your facts"

Emotions drive behavior change.

If you want proof, just look at the last time you didn't want to do something, and the inner-dialogue you had. Chances are there was some sort of task that you didn't *feel* like doing.

And what got you through it? Most likely another feeling, or negotiation.

You don't feel like doing your taxes, but you fear the consequences of the IRS. You don't feel like taking the garbage out, but you fear the reprimand from your spouse when they get home. You don't feel like taking the next step in writing your resume, but your dissatisfaction with your current job pushes you to do so.

All of these are competing interests.

The pain of inaction becomes greater than the pain of action, so it's easier for your emotional brain to go ahead and do the work.

So what drives these competing interests?

Our values, and the stories we tell.

Dr. K at Healthy Gamer talks about a time where he had a patient with a nicotine addiction. Each day his patient would come in, and Dr. K would tell him all of the facts and logic around the chance of lung cancer from smoking so much, the impact on his heart, and so on.

None of it worked.

Except, this man cared deeply about his daughter. He knew that he wanted to be there for her, but it still wasn't enough to overcome his addiction. The way Dr. K was able to get his patient to quit smoking was when he asked: "Do you want to walk your daughter down the aisle with an oxygen tank behind you?"

A value, and a story.

This is whats missing from self-development content today.

Spend a few minutes on Twitter and you'll find troves of step-by-step guides, roadmaps, resources, templates, and more. Same with Medium, touting their abundance of "12 steps to financial freedom" and "The 3 step process to building an audience."

They make promises, get clicks, then leave readers disappointed, craving the next one.

Readers believe they can find the definitive roadmap that will work no matter what, and writers are incentivized to present their content in that way. Unfortunately, the content that has the most impact is the least incentivized, because it requires more work.

Parting advice

Search for the stories.

Fiction or non-fiction, what are the stories you can relate to, and how can they help you with your situation? What are the stories that you're telling yourself? Where do you want to go, and where are you right now?

And if you're interested, start documenting your own story. Someone out there needs it.


This week, I’ve been thinking about:

What are the factors that allow us to stay consistent in our work?

Would love to hear from you in the comments!


This week I’ve been going through a Pat Kay binge. If you’re at all interested in photography, I’d give his channel a watch! He doesn’t just talk about the technicals of photography, but the art behind it as well. How to compose photographs, how to tell stories, how to find inspiration, etc.

Personal Updates

I'd like to share a bit on what I'm working on each week, more from a productivity & business development perspective. Slight bit of accountability, and just be able to update people who would like to follow along!

This week I was able to send out a quote and a proposal! It sounds so small, but these were some big barriers and weights on me. Figuring out pricing is hard, but was able to throw some stuff at the wall, and we’ll see what happens from there!

Last weekend was a holiday weekend, so I really took some time to relax and not do too much, but this weekend I hope to make a bit more progress on the top things on my to-do list. The whole Notion setup thing has been a bit frustrating due to some analysis paralysis and premature optimization, so I’m going to try to go at it with the mindset of just getting something started, and going from there! (Though I may participate in an offline weekend, so may not get anything done :) )

  • Build SEO/PPC proposal
  • Finish most of the site build
  • Work on Notion setup