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The Power Of Fiction

Jonathan Canizales
December 2, 2022
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The power of fiction 📚

A lot of book recommendations seem to centre around non-fiction: self-help books, business books, books on sales, books on marketing, books on health, psychology books, books on better relationships, books on how to get money, how to spend money, how to grow money, how to keep money - you see where I’m going with this 🥱

Rarely am I recommended fiction books, even though more often than not these stories teach us similar lessons on life, love, friendship, family, hardships, psychology, society etc.

So for this post, we are diverging a little bit from operations and process design and looking at 3 important things that I think can be learnt from the often forgotten gem of fiction:

Empathy - new perspectives create new understanding.

Fiction unlocks an impossibility, it puts you directly in someone else’s mind and forces you to see things from another perspective. In acting we call it empathy, in business they call it influence and in life, I would call it understanding. Whatever you call it, the ability to truly understand multiple perspectives and see the world through another person’s eyes is a skill that unlocks the door to understanding and deeper interaction.

Storytelling - learn from the best.

Decks, pitches, sales calls, presentations, marketing, negotiating all have one thing in common - storytelling. To build a new world from scratch and keep the reader enthralled in that world for hundreds of pages is truly masterful storytelling. So if you want to become a great storyteller, why not learn from the best?

Decompression - disconnect to destress.

For me, reading non-fiction (specifically the type of books I mentioned in the intro) can encourage future projection, planning and preoccupation, which is great, but sometimes you need to be present in the moment. Similar to meditation, good fiction engages the imagination and demands present state attention by putting your brain into a pleasurable trance state focused only on the story. This is great for forcibly disengaging the mind to give your brain that relaxation ‘pit-stop’ that it needs often more frequently that we are able to give.

So, if you are looking for a fiction book that will whisk you away into a new world, here is my first recommendation: 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami (once you read it the picture will make sense).

P.s. Make sure to hit me up if you want any more recommendations!

Art credit: Nacho Yagüe

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Jonathan Canizales
11 Jan 2022