What's in a Story?

Hi Persuader,

I’m so excited to be beginning a new chapter with my students. In the last month we’ve embarked on an amazing, transformative, and very practical journey together that starts with a pen and piece of paper (or for those of you who don’t know how to use a pen and piece of paper anymore in this world of iPhones and laptops — all you need is a blank Word document to get started).

I am basing this teaching on a multitude of research I’ve done over the last 30 years and some of the luminaries in the power of story such as Joseph Campbell and his work on the Hero’s Journey, and Dr. Jim Loehr (the chairman and CEO of The Human Performance Institute) in his book “The Power of Story”.

Our stories are unique tools in which we can harness our power of to affect those around us. This can be in business, sales, with employees, in seduction or with our spouses, with our children, and even with people we come into contact with in life either on the phone or in person — bank representatives, grocery store clerks, mechanics, police officers, our kid’s teachers.

All great speakers use stories. One of the main differences in the last election was Barack Obama’s ability to persuade (I’ve been saying for over a year that if the race were all about persuasion, Obama would win hands down). Another big difference was Obama’s knack for storytelling and how he was able maintain a narrative that was compelling. It’s a classic ‘rags to riches’ story and it resonated very deeply with many people who would not have otherwise voted for a democrat or who would not have otherwise been of the mind to vote for an African-American (for whatever reason).

Tony Robbins also has a ‘rags to riches’ story which he tells during his talks. (On a side note, when I entered ‘rags to riches‘ into Wikipedia, I found a fascinating list of celebrities and politicians who have the same basis for their stories.)

But even if you grew up middle class and haven’t struggled financially in life, you have a story and likely, a fascinating story. If you’re not where you want to be in life, if there’s something you haven’t achieved, then there is work to be done on your story.

In “The Power of Story” Dr. Loehr talks about how the stories we tell ourselves and others are oftentimes flawed and keep us locked into situations that are unsatisfying. By simply rewriting our stories, we can transform our lives. It’s a simple process, but by no means easy. It is deep work that has the potential to create a bit of upheaval in your life and the benefits will be immeasurable.

It’s time to evolve that story. So take that pen and paper and start with “you” and ask yourself these questions: Where am I going? How did it come to this? What do I want? What’s the meaning of my life?

This is the jumping off point. I’m right here with you. I’ve begun my journey and my students are beginning their journeys. If you have an interest in joining us in this learning, contact Kim at Maxpersuasion.

Until Next Time,

Kenrick E. Cleveland

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Tom Stark - January 9, 2009

[quote comment=""]Hello Mr. Cleveland,

I am writing to you here because your “Ask Kenrick” page didn’t take my question, and instead, brought me here to your Blog.

So, here’s my question, in the form of a story – to stay somewhat on subject.

I’ve been a Black Belt for about 2 decades now, and when it comes to martial arts, I’ve pretty much been there & seen that. So I’m not easily impressed.

Well, for years, I had been hearing about this one particular martial arts guy that was semi well known for a while back in the 80’s.

The “story” goes that he can move so fast that, from about 4 feet away (well out of range), that he can hit you before you ever see him move.

So naturally, when I had an opportunity, I went to check him out – and it gets even more frightening. Not only is that story true, but from even farther away, he can kick you in the head and you’d swear he never moved his foot – it is somehow just instantly in your face.

The thing is – he says he’s really not all that fast, and in fact, when you watch it back on video – he’s right!

It’s fast alright, but not so fast that it can’t be seen, or blocked,. The confounding thing is, that no one ever does.

Even though it looks more like a normally fast punch or kick – on video . . . when it is coming At YOU, it appears to be faster than anything you’ve ever seen. That is, if you even see it at all.

At first, I thought he might be zapping us with some sort of covert hypno thing. But we saw videos of him doing the same thing, in the ring, at top competitions. Right in the middle of the match he would, settle down, into a modest stance (seemingly out of range) and just start blasting them. He would pretty much hit them anytime he wanted.

They wouldn’t even “try” to block (at least not before getting hit).

It was like they didn’t even see anything coming – just like my experience, you’ll never see it even start move!

Of course, he makes some other weird things happen that also seem to defy physics. For example, with a 2 inch pad on your chest, he stands flat footed about 2 feet in front of you, and with a very relaxed arm, places a loose fist up against the pad, stands motionless for a moment – and BLAM! The next thing you know is your chest is in full spasm from the impact, you’ve been blasted back about 3-4 feet, and slammed into the wall behind you.

All this result – and he only extended his arm just a few inches.. He can even make you to block your own punches, or he presses your arms together in such a way that you can’t move.

Like I said, this stuff just seems to defy physics. Even so, he says everything is actually based on physics, it’s just that the principles & applications are well beyond what most people (and even Black Belts) understand.

The Reason I’m writing you, Mr Clevleand, is that there’s got to be some kind of mind stuff going on here. In my 20 years of martial arts, I had never experienced anything like it.

One of my friends said that they once saw a Hawaiian NLP certificate, setting on his desk. That was my clue.

So, my question to you Mr Clevleand, is – “Do you have any idea of what he’s doing?

Oh yeah, he’s in his 50’s and his name is Bill Shaw.

Any insight would be deeply appreciated.

With my respect,

Tom Stark[/quote]

    Kenrick E. Cleveland - March 27, 2009

    Hi Tom,

    I’m sorry it took so long for me to see this.

    Bill is a great guy.

    Yes, there is probably lots going on. Why not ask Bill?

    At a minimum, engery manipulation can cause this. I’m sure you’ve experience many things like this yourself in your 20 years of MA.

    Since I didn’t experience this myself, I can’t comment knowledgeably, but I can say it is absolutely possible. And, it can be learned.

    All the best.

    Kenrick E. Cleveland

Dr Bill Toth - January 9, 2009

Absolutely everybody has their “story”. And everyone has the “Response-Ability” to re-write it in an empowering, enriching way.
People reading this might consider the resource http://www.storytheater.net/
While Doug’s focus is on giving presentations…his teachings apply to the “presentations” and “stories” we give as proceed throughout our days.

That’s one reason why it’s so important to;

Live with Intention
Dr Billl Toth

Dr Bill Toth - January 9, 2009

[quote comment=""]Absolutely everybody has their “story”. And everyone has the “Response-Ability” to re-write it in an empowering, enriching way.
People reading this might consider the resource http://www.storytheater.net/
While Doug’s focus is on giving presentations…his teachings apply to the “presentations” and “stories” we give as proceed throughout our days.

That’s one reason why it’s so important to;

Live with Intention
Dr Billl Toth


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