Monthly Archives: February 2013

What’s Your Story?

“Humans are not ideally set up to understand logic; they are ideally set up to understand stories.”

Roger C. Schink cognitive scientist


In The Literary Mind, cognitive scientist Mark Turner explains that “Narrative imagining-story-is the fundamental instrument of thought”  “Rational capacities depend on it.  It is our chief means of looking into the future, of predicting, of planning, and of explaining…. Most of our experience, our knowledge and our thinking is organized as stories.”

Quotes pulled from Danial Pink’s A Whole New Mind


Stories can be an effective way to incorporate play into work and every day life.  Telling stories is an effective way of communicating for any purpose from explaining an important situation to and aid in getting through the work day. Creating stories about everyday objects, tasks, or people can be beneficial entertainment even if they never leave your head.  Having your own sense of self story can also be highly motivating.  The flavor of your surroundings, the people around you, the music and noises you here and the narrative of your life; even if parts of it are known to be imagination and/or temporary, our sense of living a story can be entertaining, motivating and inspiring.  As with anything, telling stories, and our personal sense of story can be practiced.  If you write stories, but don’t like them, keep in mind that they are still beneficial because you are practicing.  Don’t give up.  Here is a story for you.

A Tale of Two Ducks

Reed and Lou were sitting by the river bank, watching the water swirl through the eddies. It was a nice day out. Mostly clear with a few wispy clouds on the horizon. It was mid afternoon, the sun still high in the sky, but on it’s way down. Lou was a bit older than Reed, he had spent the early years of his life on a foie gras farm until he escaped. He was then taken home by some children to live on a private lake until the family abandoned the property and the lake dried up. The next few years he spent roaming through twelve different states until he finally found a family in this flock and came to call the river his summer home. Reed knew all this about Lou. He had heard the stories many times. But there was one thing he never had asked. He slowly turned to Lou “Quack Quack Quack Quack?” Lou sat in silence, memories from his past flooding back. After a while he spoke, “Quack Quack, Quack Quack Quack. Quack Quack Quack Quack. Quack Quack Quack; Quack Quack Quack.” Reed stared in amazement “Quack!? Quack Quack Quack Quack Quack! Quack…Quack Quack Quack?” Lou gave a little chuckle at the innocence of the young duck and asked him, “Quack Quack Quack Quack, Quack Quack Quack Quack?” Reed thought about this for a while. Now he was put on the spot. He swished his beak in the water, stomped his feet around, stared at the sky then finally let out a long sigh, “Quack Quack Quack Quack. Quack, Quack Quack Quack. Quack Quack Quack Quack, Quack Quack; Quack Quack Quack Quack, Quack Quack. Quack Quack Quack Quack Quack.” He turned to look at the older duck, unsure of what his reaction would be. Lou looked back at Reed… and smiled. “Quack Quack! Quack Quack Quack Quack Quack? Quack Quack Quack!” Reed jumped up in excitement and gave Lou a slap on the shoulder. “Quack Quack?! Quack Quack Quack Quack Quack! Quack Quack!” And with that, they took off into the setting sun to go have adventures together.

What is your relationship to stories?

How has your sense of story effected you?