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    • I have been watching more TED talks recently probably due the fact of reading @Chris' account of preparations for his TED talk. I ran across this talk from Lori Gottlieb on “How changing your story can change your life” and was captivated by the narrative. In addition to being a very strong presentation, I was just struck by the power of her message in how we control our own narratives to serve ourselves and how we need to keep this in mind when we are listening to the stories of others. Much of the human connection is in service of controlling this narrative and the more we are aware of this reality, the better we will be at understanding the perspective of others. What are we leaving out or adding to influence an outcome? What are others leaving out or adding? 

      I believe this could be a valuable lesson for technologists responsible for building the next versions of our communication technologies. Where context can be an incredibly powerful tool when put in our hands to render but equally as dangerous when used as tools for manipulation. 

    • What a fantastic talk, at least — for me — the first half was. I have a friend who is the head moderator at ADVrider and was once a county sheriff and Army Colonel. He says there are three sides to every story: one side, the other side, and the truth.

      I was acutely aware of this when writing my own talk because I wanted it to pass any fact checking. For each paragraph I wrote, I asked what critics would say, and would they have a point?

      What I think I have discovered in my life, however, is you don’t always control your narrative — even when it’s true. I don’t think I’d like to go back in time to tell Churchill to consider what other people think of him. Or to get him focused on his obituary.

      I think there are people whose narratives seemed insane at the time. I worked for one of them. But they turned out to be accurate and thank God they were sure enough of them to stick to them come Hell or high water. Or in Churchill’s case, war.

    • Ugh, I hate to be a downer in any way about such a great talk, but one thing was festering with me last night. I was a Mormon Bishop for 5 years and called into service of counseling marriages. I didn’t like it, didn’t feel qualified, so I relied on a network of half a dozen psychiatrists and therapists.

      One thing I heard often is this point of view that everyone has their own narrative and the truth is somewhere in between. That was often true. But sometimes it wasn’t. Those were hard cases because the working hypothesis most people have is “oh, he’s such a wonderful man. She seems kind of depressed. If she were only warmer instead of being sullen, they could work this out.”

      What no one knew is that he was a monster at home and she was afraid of him. If anything, her narrative blamed herself too much. She would say she fell in the kitchen and that’s why she had the black eye.

      Anyway, I did like Lori’s talk for the 80% use case, just not when one party is being truly awful.

    • I have been listening to TED talks for some time now in my van while I'm traveling. This one I recently listened to and got some good insight from it. Recently as I had been grumbling under my breath about how where I worked had changed from the company I went to work for 19 years ago. I decided to rewrite my story and retired much earlier than I originally planned.

      A few weeks after I put in my notice, I gave them 30 days, I listened to this TED talk and it made me feel better about the decision I made. I was terrified of leaving the workplace that had been my home for 19 years but I was miserable and needed to move on.

      Here I am three months later and I'm feeling much better about my decision and planning for the future enjoying life before it is over.

      I'm looking forward to listening to Chris' talk.

    • I do agree with you but I just think we always need to be aware of the fact motivations may lie behind all of our stories and use this as we process what is being communicated. Hitler was a master manipulator of stories and was able to prey on an angry German population to achieve his goals. Radio was his manipulation amplifier. I just had a debate with my son where I upset him by saying the truth is subjective. So I gave in and admitted the perception of truth is subjective. So as long as you have sides to a story I believe we are always going to have struggles digging for the truth. Especially as the amplifiers connecting us become more powerful in reach and fail to provide sufficient user controls.

    • Oh I believe it goes both ways for certain. How many people blame themselves when they are the victims. I always say Mental Health is at the top of the list of the problems we need to become serious about. I agree with Andrew Yang in his platform of providing universal mental health coverage. I have lost a couple of friends to depression and have attempted to help friends with anxiety and have been amazed at how poorly the system is run.

    • Thank you very much. So far so good and I'm very happy I took the leap to change my story. There is more to that type of advise then I ever guessed there would be. The side benefit to retiring is I feel much better, my healthy is getting better by the day and I'm losing unwanted weight without trying. Stress, really did take a toll on me.