So you have problems, right? And you probably want solutions to those problems, correct?
Okay, so far so good. I’m waddling behind you, a-okay.
But what about the big stuff? The nasty stuff you’re worried about AND you know how to solve.
Stop blushing, Modest Mary.
Anything you don’t like and have an opinion about implies you know a better way. Let’s assume you know something that can make your world and our world better. Hooray!
So why isn’t anyone listening?
People tune out when we present The Problem and Our Solution because <drum roll> we have a bad habit of pointing fingers.
Stay with me.
How do you feel when you see these words?
Why We’re All So Fat
I can guess how you feel because I feel that way too.
When you see or read bad news, you can feel really, really bad FAST.
Bad news reminds us that we harbour an uncomfortable secret. We’re part of the big bad problem.
Global warming = we drive (and love our car)
Homelessness = we ignore (and fear that fate)
Fatty pants = we overeat (and prefer junk food)
What’s worse than secretly thinking like this?
Sometimes we drive our SUV past (never over) a homeless person while en route to McDonald’s!?!
Ugh, the First World is such a giant Clown Town, isn’t it?
This wild world is acutely overrun with rabid clowns if you’re a communicator and dreamer wanting to build a better world.
So what can we do?
Structuring our message as “Here’s-the-problem-here’s-the-solution” bores non-converts FAST.
Always remember, your message is the world you wish to create. A story’s message is the personal invitation to those who don’t yet see the future as you do.
(If you just thought, “The future is doomed!” – perfect. Thank you, grasshopper. Keep readin’.)
Al Gore and An Inconvenient Truth. ‘member that nightmare?
No matter your views about Mr. Doomsday, did you watch that documentary and feel inspired and hopeful about the future?
Or did you shut off the TV feeling depressed, frightened and/or angry? Exactly.
Fear doesn’t move mountains. Hope moves mountains.
Now that I’ve shown you the problem (haha), here’s the solution (haha… I’ll stop).
Rather than spending time, energy and effort on describing the problem, tell your readers or listeners about the possibilities.
Paint us a picture of the world you’re inviting us to co-create with you. Tell us about the world that’s arising that’s waaaaaaaaaaaaay better than the one we live in now.
For example, what does the world look like when it’s blessed with thriving biodiversity (problem/possibility: climate change)?
Describe how life would be different if every man, woman and child had a home (problem/possibility: homelessness).
Show me a fit, vibrant, healthy, connected community (problem/possibility: modern lifestyle).
See how better that feels? Rather than a Problem + Solution approach, invite your audience into the Possibility + Solution of a bigger, better, brighter world.
After you’ve presented the Possibility, the cult of “how, how, how” will roar. And that’s okay. In fact, that’s verrrrrrrrrrrry good news.
As soon as your reader or listener (or investor) asks the “how to” question, you’re posed to show ‘em your solution.
You’ve shown the possibility, you’ve acknowledged the problem or obstacle, and now it’s Show Time – the new world you see and the new world you know how to build.
Make your loving invitation for us to join you right now. Hooray! More Light, more Love!
Cheers to a new year and new possibilities and solutions for all,