People would rather be angry than bored.
Anger is a form of excitement.
That explains a lot of behavior, doesn’t it?
But if you can choose, choose laughter.
“Man is the laughing animal…” 1
Anger is dangerous and crying is much less fun.
I’m talking about storytelling and communication.
I’m talking about books and movies.
I’m talking about television and music.
I’m talking about romantic attraction.
I’m talking about successful ads.
If you hope to move people, you must make them laugh, cry or get angry.
You ask, “What about fear?”
Fear is never the end-game.
Fear is merely a fuel that will move you to submission (crying) or defiance (anger.)
There is a fourth state of elevated awareness, however, more seductive even than laughter: wonder, mystery, that magical glimpse of a thing too big for us.
Wonder is the fabric of religious devotion and romantic attraction.
It is the highest goal of any communicator.
“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom the emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand wrapped in awe, is as good as dead —his eyes are closed.”
– Albert Einstein, Living Philosophies (1931)
You stood in wonder at the cliff’s edge of 2016, looking forward into a vast unknown.
“The gift of flight is reserved only for those who leap.”
So you did.
Happy New Year.
May you walk in fields of gold.
Roy H. Williams
Laughter, Wonder, Sorrow and Anger are the tools of master communicators. Would you like to know how to use them?
1 from Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, written around 340 BC and named after his father or son, both of whom were called Nicomachus.