stories

The Weatherman is Never Right

Of course he is…almost always. Especially in the short-term, under 3 days. There’s almost a 100% chance the temperature outside right now is within 2 degrees F which was predicted 24 hours ago. Think about this. Outside of celestial movement and tides and such, almost nothing is as certain as the near-term weather. Yet, we hang on to the story and resulting culture from the early Farmer’s Almanac days when the weather was largely unpredictable and changed radically every five minutes (if you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes). And every once in a while the weather doesn’t turn out today as it was predicted yesterday (everyday somewhere, but almost never in your town). So we add that to the lore…and the ratchet continues. Plus, it’s more fun and perhaps interesting to dramatize one time failures than provable statistical outcomes…how boring.

What other stories are we telling ourselves which are based on outdated and unsupportable theories? The purpose of standardized education, the value of meetings, the role of placebos, the effectiveness of advertising…a few to consider.

Choose your stories wisely.

Stories Matter

A classic Mini Cooper once owned by Madonna is selling for $75K. But it doesn’t drive any differently than one for $15K. A modern Fender Stratocaster guitar made to look like a 1960’s model (they call it a relic) sells for three times more than a standard one. However it isn’t likely to make you a better musician. A hotel with “real” ghosts can charge 20% more. But the beds would feel the same if there weren’t any (ghosts). A welcome sign outside Hot Springs, Arkansas boasts “The Boyhood Home of Bill Clinton”. But there are a lot of other things to do.

Stories are important to us. They shape our worldview and determine how we feel. Look around you right now. Every physical element of the space has a story...some resonate with you more than others. Some remind you of another story, some create a story of the type of person who might have have made it, or the one that put it there. Some tell you a story of cheap, unimaginative or lack of enthusiasm...and make you feel uninterested, or even angry. Some tell you a story of craftsmanship, laborious design and attention to detail...and makes you curious and glad to be there. Of course, another person doesn’t see it that way. They find the vanilla one, the one you didn’t care for, much more interesting. The story was different for them. But there was a story. And it connected with them.

You have a story. Does it resonate with the people you seek to change? If not, can you change the story? Can you get Madonna to borrow it for a minute it? Or, perhaps you need to find new people? Or both.