What's the WHY behind Muse? Why are you sharing this storytelling process?
Tyrone W. asked: Why? Why are you sharing these powerful insights into storytelling? Yes...sharing is awesome and all that but what is the real reason why? Based on what I have studied so far this is an awesome program. Thanks for putting this together.
It's surprising how much this question comes up in workshops and in other places we speak and share our ideas. It's almost as though people expect to show up and receive some half-baked receipt for doing better work but the real secret sauce will be kept from you. And then when we reveal absolutely everything and do so in a simple, straight-forward way that has clearly been obsessed about, folks wonder why?
In short, we believe in the power of story. And we can only tell so many stories ourselves, but with Muse we can empower so many others to be more intentional and moving in their work. Though indirect, that means we've done much more than had we just focused on our own stories and efforts.
Let me give you two examples:
Kamren Sexton is heading off to the Amazon Jungle for three years to work on a documentary about sex trafficking. It's a noble cause and one that we came nose-to-nose with when making #standwithme. In another life, I'd love to spend many more years using story to help bring awareness to such a vital issue. If you meet one person who was a victim of slavery, I'd imagine you too would want to do all you can. With Muse, Kamren will be able to have way more focus in his story, he'll be able to really use story to connect emotionally and bring people to his purpose, and the hope is that gets his work, and that issue, much more attention.
Fernando Lopes used to work at a car dealership. He LOVED filmmaking, but had to make sure he could provide for his wife and three daughters. He yearned for that connection he felt when he made a film that moved his audience and he wanted to drop everything and pursue his passion, but in his words "to many of my close ones said I was crazy because I have 3 little daughters, how your going to feed them?".
Fernando now has his own production company. He is doing what he loves and it is making a real, positive impact on other people. This is what he wrote us: "You guys have done so much for me and for others out there, that had no chance, but today can take care of their families and are close to leaving their dreams or living them, and for that, Thank you."
So what we do here with Muse makes a real difference in people living the life of their dreams, and in creating work that can really make a difference on others.
Our culture will tell you that we should pursue the paycheck. That we should own the big house, the best car, and get the bank account nice and high. But materialism, and the pursuit of external things to make us happy, is rather futile (this is what I did my Honors Thesis on in Uni). Want to predict one's happiness at the holidays? Simply get them to rank order how important giving is to receiving. It's crazy how much our values, and pursuing connection over external things really leads to greater happiness.
The truth is, financial wealth is only correlated with happiness below the poverty level. Once you have more than that level of income, more money truly doesn't make you happier (scientifically, across many studies). A really fascinating study looked at paraplegics and new millionaires and found that their happiness returned to similar levels as they once were prior to their accident or wealth.
And the last thing before I get off my apple box is that the greatest predictor of happiness (above the poverty level) is a strong and close social network. Connection. So while it may on the surface seem like something like Muse is altruistic, and it may be hard to understand why we would open the vault and share so much, all of you make us the richest people in the world. We are rich in connection. And that's what matters most.