How to use a story to impact at the visceral level, rather than just at the intellectual…

David-HeadShotFun-219x300I just heard a great example of someone turning a truism one might know intellectually into something that hits you at the visceral level, by using a story.

I was re-listening to David Neagle’s teleseminar series The Miracle of Money (which is outstanding, BTW…I think it’s something we should teach in our schools) and came upon this story from the bible he tells to illustrate a point.

Basically, he was talking about how you can’t just affirm into existence what you want–a la The Secret–and hope for a miracle. But, that you must engage in what he calls “miracle making activities”. He talks about how when we try to affirm things like “I am in great shape” or “My business is growing” but do nothing to make those happen, our subconscious mind is thinking “That’s BS…you don’t mean it and you don’t believe it.”

While you might think this is common sense:

1. There are a lot of people who believe that simply affirming things over and over will miraculously make them happen.

2. There are a lot of people who live their lives acting as if, without action, good things will happen.

To be honest, I’ve done #2 more times than I would like to admit, so I felt somewhat “busted” as he talked about this.

But, I found the way he framed it in a biblical story especially powerful.

As I heard the story again, it hit home at a deeper level and…made me think “I want to share this with my storytelling folks as a great example of how to use a story to make your idea, which could easily be taken as nothing new and common sense, and make it come alive…and make it hit at a visceral level…not just an intellectual level.”

Listen to the story and notice the  power it adds to the concept.

Then think about concepts you want to teach and how you can use stories like this to make them “stickier” (as in Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath)

You can literally listen to the audio excerpt at the bottom of this post, or…read it:

The other story is one that comes out of Christian scripture. It‘s where Christ was in a home. It says he was teaching to the family in this home, and the multitude was out around the home.

What‘s the multitude? According to the Bible, the multitude was hundreds or thousands of people. They gathered around the home in hopes of many different things. Some wanted teaching from Christ. Some wanted healing from Christ. They all wanted to get something from him, so they were standing outside the home waiting in hopes that they might get something from him.

There was a family that lived a few miles away. The family had a dying father, and they had gotten word that Christ was teaching in this home just a few miles away.

They put the father in a cart and carted over to the home. When they got there, they can‘t get to the door because the multitude was standing all around the house.

What they did was said, ―Father will have his healing.

They climbed up and hoisted the father onto the roof of the home. They ripped off the top of the roof and lowered the father down in front of Christ to get the healing. The father was healed.

For everybody else on the outside around the home, if you were ask if they wanted their healing, would say, ―Yes, please,‖ but they just stood there. The person who really wanted it spent their time in miracle-generating activities. They would not be denied success in the healing of the father, so they found a way where there was no way.

They could have got there and said, ―We can‘t get through these thousands of people. He‘s busy. Maybe we‘d be disturbing him.‖ Some of you are afraid to make phone calls and call people because you‘re disturbing people.

In the Christian religion, Christ is the son of God, and these people had no problem bothering the son of God or ripping off the roof of the house to lower him to the son of God. They weren‘t afraid to be ashamed, embarrassed or told no.

They said, ―We will have our healing. We will have our abundance. We‘re not going to be weak of heart and mind. We‘re not going to be distracted by all the people who don‘t have the confidence to go in and ask for and demand what they want. We will have it.‖ Christ granted their request.

Christ‘s story is very interesting. If you look throughout the Bible, you realize there were only a few people Christ actually healed. At some point, you have to ask yourself why. If Christ had the power to heal all of humanity, why did he come here and just heal a few?

You don‘t find him healing anybody who didn‘t go through great pains in order to ask him to heal. That‘s the difference between really desiring what you want and just slightly wanting it because you don‘t like what your situation is presenting.

© 2011 Life Is Now, Inc * 500 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 300 * Chicago, IL 60611 Ph / fax 888-720-7117

For more of David Neagle’s work, go to


About the Author

Comments (2)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Annie says:

    Wow!!! what an impactful story, I needed to read this. Thank you for sharing.

Leave a Reply

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a Gravatar.