Your Brain on Stories: How Stories Impact Your World View

He was sitting in the school library with his friends on a rainy day, laughing and getting the negative attention of the staff. Picking up a random novel from the shelf to hide behind and pretend to read, a sentence actually caught his attention, and he was completely transported to the world of Dune.

Expectations: Fuel for Resentment, or Critical Growth Factor?

The Stories We Tell Ourselves About Others Can Wreak Havoc in Relationships

When Melissa Hughes talks about expectations, she puts them into four categories:

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  1. Expectations of yourself
  2. Expectations for yourself
  3. Expectations of others
  4. Expectations for others

As an educator, she knows that students will be more successful when a teacher has high expectations of them. She also knows that expectations, when not managed and understood, can fuel resentment in a relationship.

What's really fascinating is that when an expectation isn't met, it can have devastating effects, so devastating that our brain reacts in the same way as when we feel physical pain.

Feel good neural transmitters are released when our expectations are met - and they drop dramatically when our expectations are NOT met, especially when it is a surprise to us.

We tell ourselves stories of the people around us, stories of what we believe they will do, no matter what evidence we have about our past experience with them. Listen to the conversation to learn more.


Melissa Hughes is a talented speaker, and author of Happy Hour with Einstein. To learn more about her talents with every different kind of audience, visit her website. And be sure to connect with her on LinkedIn, and follow her on YouTube to be notified of her upcoming engagements, blog and video posts, and book releases.

Why It Works with Joe Kwon - Storytelling

5.0 Why It Works: Sarah Elkins on Storytelling

in Podcast

Have you ever wondered why some storytellers mesmerize you and others give Ambien a run for its money? How come some stories you tell have people on the edge of their seat and others induce yawns? Did you know that there is a lot more than words that goes into telling a good story?

In today's episode of "Why It Works," Sarah Elkins, a leadership and storytelling coach, reveals some of the hidden mechanisms behind storytelling. Listen in to find out the connection between vulnerability and storytelling, how lessons from music can improve your storytelling and the one thing that drives Sarah crazy about bad storytellers.

Every Interaction is an Opportunity

Our first son was slow with words, and fast with walking and climbing. He was pulling himself up stairs before he was actively crawling and could climb walls as soon as he could walk, literally; he climbed walls using the baseboard to begin his ascent.

An Unlikely Foundation for Optimism

Some Stories Teach Us the Wrong Lessons - At First

When she was a teenager, Jennifer Heflin overheard a conversation between her parents that gave her the impression the only way to succeed in business is to be aggressive, unkind, and ruthless.

That was the story she told herself as she completed her MBA at Wharton, and started her career on Wall Street. It stuck with her so deeply that she left Wall Street because she simply didn't have that cutthroat attitude and the environment didn't work for her.

As she started to process her career, and focused on mindfulness and self-reflection, she realized that the culture she experienced was just one perspective of the business world. Her awakening moment came to her in the early morning on a beautiful spring day: It doesn't have to be that way.


Jennifer Heflin is a personal development coach with a focus on meditation, mindfulness, emotional mastery and empowerment. She is also the founder of Angels Evolution, a company on a mission to bring personal growth to the business world. You can find Jennifer’s podcast, Embracing Mastery, on iTunes, Spreaker, SoundCloud and YouTube.