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Hello friends!

Happy Easter.
Happy Passover.
Happy Go Fly a Kite Day.
Happy National Bakes Ham with Pineapple Day. 
Happy National Cheeseball Day.

All real holidays celebrated in April 17, 2022.  

In celebration of these holidays, perhaps you might want to preorder "Someday Is Today: 22 Simple, Actionable Ways to Propel Your Creative Life." 

May I recommend Indiebound? Or just pop into your favorite, local bookshop. My local favorites include RJ Julia in Madison, CT, An Unlikely Story in Plainville, MA, and Northshire in Manchester Center, VT amongst many, many others. 

One of the chapters of the book addresses the idea that we must preserve and promote the positivity offered to us by the people in our life as often as possible. 

We need as much food for the soul as we can get.

The good news is that we're offered words of kindness all the time. Compliments. Expressions of gratitude. Messages of encouragement.

Unfortunately, the human brain - for purposes of self preservation - is designed to remember the negative far more often than the positive. In fact, we require at least 6 positive statements in order to counteract one negative statement.

That's a terrible ratio that we must do everything to counteract if we hope to reach our goals and make our dreams come true.

One of my strategies to maximize the positive feedback that I receive is to "snooze" the kind and encouraging words sent to me via email so that the email arrives into my inbox a second time when I least expect it. I simply click the snooze feature in my email, close my eyes, and scroll to a random date in the future.

My email app used to have a "Someday" snooze button that I loved, but it was removed a couple years ago. I suspect that I was the only one who had found a use for this feature.

But by snoozing these kind and inspiring emails to some point in the future, I receive those words a second time, and it's joyous to receive words of kindness from the past. Reminders of how I was once appreciated by a friend, the parent of a student, a former student, a client, and even Elysha and my kids.

Yesterday one of these emails from the past arrived in my inbox. Words of kindness written by a friend five years ago, but also a friend who passed away a year ago.

That hasn't happened before.

At first, I was confused to see her name in my inbox. Then, when I realized what it was, I was saddened by the reminder of her loss. But then I read the email, and for a few moments, her kind words had returned to me, and I was able to spend a little bit of time with a friend who I can see no more.

I think she would've liked to know that even though she is gone, her words are still brightening my day.

It was admittedly bittersweet, but a lot more sweet than bitter.

Emails from the past, arriving in the present:

A good strategy to maximize the positivity in our lives made even better when they are sent from someone no longer with us.

This is one of hundreds of ideas in my new book. 

THIS WEEK'S LESSON

I attended a storytelling show recently and became frustrated while listening to storyteller after storyteller fail to make proper use of the last sentence or two of their story. 

The last thing that you say in a story is critical. It's the final note. The reason you began speaking in the first place. It's the fulfillment of the promise made at the beginning of the story that their time will be well spent.

No one begins listening to a story hoping that it will end with a pun or a joke or something dramatic like, "Yes, Mother, I see that now. I see that now." 

This is what I heard storytellers do at that recent show. They ended their stories with a joke. A pun. A comment about someone else in the story. Dramatic dialogue. A sentence designed to wrap up the plot but say nothing about the real purpose of the story. 

Sometimes a story is only plot, which is another problem entirely. More on that in the next newsletter.   

When you're finishing your story - a story about transformation or realization - make those final couple sentences do these two things:

  1. End in your own heart and mind. Speak about yourself. The story is about you, so end the story with you.  
     
  2. Say something important. Talk about how you felt at the end of the story. Describe the change that has taken place. Make it clear to the audience what you were trying to convey when you started telling your story. 
When you fail to end your story with meaning, your story will ultimately have no meaning. Storytellers save the most important things for the end of our stories because that is what we want the audience to remember most. We want it to be clear that we went on a journey for a reason, and that reason was so important that it was the last thing we said. 

This is what audiences want at the end of stories. 
Looking to learn more about storytelling through something more than a weekly email lesson?

Try my book on storytelling:

Storyworthy Engage, Teach, Persuade, and Change Your Life Through the Power of Storytelling

Available in paperback, Kindle, and audio, which I narrate myself!

PERFORMANCES AND WORKSHOPS 2022
  • April 26: Moth GrandSLAM at The WIlbur in Boston, MA
  • May 10: Book talk at the Oxford Library, Oxford, CT
  • June 23: Risk! at Caveat, NYC
  • July 13 (July 14 rain date): Speak Up at The Hill-stead in Farmington, CT
  • July 14-17: Storytelling weekend workshop at The Mount, Lenox, MA
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MatthewDicks · 52 Francis Drive · Newington, Connecticut 06111 · USA