The conceptual framework for a man's search for meaning

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Six sticky posts

April 16th, 2011 by dimpledbrain

It’s weekend and I feel like sharing 2 stories with you. I’m sure you have heard of them before, one way or another.

Story 1

A friend told me that a friend of his was in Chicago on business, and decided to go out to a famous bar in town. He picked up a beautiful young woman, and they eventually retreated to a motel. The next morning the man woke up with a splitting headache, and there was blood all over the bed sheets. The woman was gone. It doesn’t take him long to discover a freshly stitched incision on his side, and by some means or other the man eventually reaches a local hospital where he finds that one of his kidneys had been removed. He is told by the hospital that the operation was performed very professionally, and that his kidney is probably headed for sale on the black market.

Story 2

A king-sized Burger King meal, (Double Whopper with cheese, large fries and large drink) contains 1,800 calories (mostly derived from fat and refined sugar). To ‘burn’ these calories would take nearly 6 hours of cycling (at 20 miles per hour).

Fast forward 1 month, and I bet you can recite the much longer story 1 (urban legend – kidney heist) better than the 2 -sentence story 2 (facts about fast food).


Brothers Chip and Dan Heath revealed in their book, Made to Stick Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die 6 principles of sticky posts:

  • Simple — the core of any idea. An elegant underlying message
  • Unexpected — grab people’s attention by surprising them. E.g. do you know my grandmother is a software programmer? And my maid a writer?
  • Concrete — make sure an idea can be grasped and remembered later. This depends on your audience. Tell something that they can relate.
  • Credible — give an idea believability. Quote sources. This is one of the factors of influence too (Click here to read my previous post, Psychology of Influence)
  • Emotional — help people see the importance of an idea. We can relate better when emotion runs high.
  • Stories — empower people to use an idea through narrative.

To put the final nail in the coffin, the 6 principles spell S-U-C-C-E-S-(s). Who can’t be a success that way ?

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