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March 16, 2009
The Law of the Narrator
There was a hum of conversation as the audience settled in. The band
members quietly took their places on a dimly lit stage. The theatre
operator brought the lights down. The audience grew quiet in
anticipation. The emcee entered stage left, and the spotlight followed
him. The audience welcomed him with applause.
The drummer started a quiet drum roll. The emcee began speaking in a
Charlton Heston-like voice. He mesmerized the audience with a story of
accomplishment and adventure: He told us about the act we were about to
see. The drummer and emcee engaged in a choreographed dance of
excitement. The drum roll matched the words as they came out faster,
with more energy, and with the power of anticipation that a great event
was about to take place. And all at once, the emcee called out their
names, the band started playing, the act entered stage right, the
spotlight swung over to meet them, the audience erupted in applause, and
the singers launched into their first song in full voice.
saw this introduction many times. And each time my parents would come on
stage, standing tall, walking confidently, chest out, arms extended and
smiling with the majesty of a king and queen. The stage was their castle
and the theatre their kingdom. The audience believed they were in for a
magnificent journey. And so did my parents. They were ready to perform.
was during these years that I learned the power of words and music in
setting the stage for greatness. When my parents listened to the emcee
introduce them, they focused on their mission. The words and music they
heard centered their attention. They believed in themselves, and they
were committed to giving their best performance.
All great performers, athletes and leaders are introduced in a similarly
powerful way. The audience and the performer are made to share a
powerful narrative that what they are about to experience is going to be
Over the years I have learned a critical secret to success. I call it
“The Law of the Narrator.” Here it is: The voice that narrates our life
determines our success.
Our life is not a silent movie. It is one that is narrated every moment
of the day. Sometimes our narrator is an emcee, a host or an announcer.
But most of the time the voice is ours. We are introducing our every
activity and narrating our every move consciously and unconsciously.
Just think for a moment about today. What have you been saying to
yourself? What words have you been using? If you were repeating, “I’m
tired,” “I don’t feel like doing that” or “I’m worried,” you have
limited your ability to perform at your best. But if you said instead,
“I’m excited,” “I’m ready” and “I can,” you have engaged some of your
best energy to support you. The bottom line is that The Law of the
Narrator is always in play.
Throughout each day we have an opportunity to choose our narrators. And
we determine what they say and how they say it. When we wake up, see our
loved ones, face a challenge, start a project, encounter a problem, work
on a task and see an opportunity, we have a chance to narrate our story
in a powerful way. We get to choose the words and soundtrack of our
lives. Our mind sets the stage for our performance.
So, the next time you begin something important in your life, bring out
your best narrator. Cue the band, turn on the spotlight, listen to the
emcee’s introduction, hear the audience applaud, and enter in full
It’s your stage. Bring down the house.
Pollay is the creator of
The Law of the Garbage Truck™.
Mr. Pollay writes the
Monday Morning Momentum Blog
each week. He is a syndicated columnist
with the North Star Writers
Group, creator and host of
The Happiness Answer™
television program, and an internationally sought after speaker.
Pollay’s book, Beware of Garbage Trucks!™, is due out later this year. Mr. Pollay is the
founder and president of the consulting and seminar organization,
The Momentum Project.
David J. Pollay. Distributed by North Star Writers Group. May not be
republished without permission.
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