I read Jeffrey Kottler’s “Change” last year, and was blogging about it, but I got distracted with my “50 things before 50” theme, and kind of forgot about getting back to the book. I wouldn’t say Chapter 4 was particularly compelling for me, or at least most of it wasn’t. It was about how people attempting to change can create narratives to help or hinder themselves. It seems pretty obvious to me, so the various headings of different types of stories didn’t really resonate with me. I did like a couple of quotes, including stories that promote change (as opposed to other stages in the process):
Through the use of metaphors, they have the advantage of operating indirectly and bypassing resistance; they engage in active imagination and require listeners / viewers / readers to personalize the lessons in a meaningful way.
Some helpers (teachers, psychotherapists, health experts, leaders, etc.) often use stories to help instruct or heal:
Contemporary therapists often make frequent use of recommending particular books or films to their clients, even basing their treatments on what has been called bibliotherapy or cinematherapy. One practitioner has compiled a collection of movies that inspire people to overcome their problems, organizing them according to the issues they highlight…
There are some people who read through several self-help books or biographies and nothing resonates. Then they read THE ONE that does resonate with them, and they feel almost like they can model their behaviour after the person’s success. Books help for me, but movies not so much. I do however believe there is a great untapped role for music, but perhaps that is more short-term mood management than inspired change. However, those with specific issues have merged upbeat playlists to help them deal with depression over their love life or their weight or challenges staying motivated to work out. I guess it is similar in many ways to those who listen to sad songs after a break-up to help them process the experience and move them through it towards a healthier mental view of the end of a relationship.
Rarely, however, does a book inspire me so much as an idea or two within a book. I do like the power of stories, just not sure they are as strong when not self-created, so ideas often spark me to take them away, wrestle with them, unpack them, and decide if they work for me or not. But that process is more creative for me than a passive reading of other people’s stories.