I watched episodes of both Mad Men and Boardwalk Empire recently with the writer commentary on. I noticed an interesting parallel. They both said things like, “I think Don did that because…” or “Nucky really believes…” and on and on. For these creators their characters are truly alive. They have hopes, dreams, faults, darkness inside just like us. And their actions on these two shows are guided by their creators being able to return repeatedly to peer into these character’s lives, tap into that character’s unique passion for life and see what they might do in different situations.
This makes the characters real. And real characters are interesting. Notice the difference between watching a disposable action movie with predictable characters to a quiet movie about almost nothing at all with engaging characters.
We love stories. And we especially love great stories. You are your own story. And what if you saw your story as a great story? What does that make today, the latest chapter in your great story?
And when we’re trying to influence another person for a mutually better outcome, what is the quality of the story we tell? How is it the most engaging, most compelling story that’s being told?