PURPOSEFUL FICTION: I THINK I AM A WRITER, BUT AM I POSITIVE?

Presented at the When Words Collide Literary Conference by Jack Richardson


1. GOOD EVENING AND THANK YOU FOR ATTENDING THIS TALK AT THE END OF A LONG DAY. MY NAME IS JACK RICHARDSON, I AM FROM CALGARY AND MY AMBITION IS TO HELP PEOPLE REALIZE NEW POSSIBILITIES.

MY TALK IS ABOUT PURPOSEFUL FICTION.

2. THE SECONDARY THEME IS POSITIVITY, LEADING TO THE RHETORICAL QUESTION: ‘I THINK I AM A WRITER, BUT AM I POSITIVE?’ BY THE END OF THIS TALK, YOU WILL REALIZE THAT WHAT I AM SEEKING IS THE PROMOTION OF POSITIVITY.

I HOPE YOU FIND THIS PRESENTATION INTERESTING, AND WILL CONSIDER FOLLOWING ME ON MY WEBSITE WWW.CIRCLESOFHUMANITY.COM

DURING THE NEXT 50 MINUTES, WE WILL BE EXAMINING 4 TOPICS:

FIRST, WE WILL TRY TO UNDERSTAND WHAT PURPOSEFUL FICTION IS AND HOW IT MANIFESTS ITSELF IN OUR DAY TO DAY LIVES.

THEN, EACH OF US WILL DISCOVER OUR PURPOSE IN LIFE.

THE THIRD OBJECTIVE IS TO DO SOME BRAINSTORMING TO UNDERSTAND HOW BEST TO DELIVER OUR MESSAGE.

THEN, WE WILL LOOK AT WAYS THAT WE CAN ALL ADD PURPOSE AND POSITIVITY TO OUR WRITING.

IT LOOKS LIKE WE HAVE OUR WORK CUT OUT FOR US.

3. FICTION , BY DEFINITION IS A STORY OF THE IMAGINATION. A POTENTIALLY WONDROUS ESCAPE FROM REALITY FOR BOTH THE CREATOR AND THE READER.

ON THE SURFACE, IT SEEMS SIMPLE AND UNENCUMBERED BY REALITY. BUT IS IT?

4. PURPOSE, MEANS SOMETHING THAT IS USEFUL AND IS DONE WITH INTENTION.

IT DEFINES THE MESSAGE AN AUTHOR IS ATTEMPTING TO DELIVER.

5. I RECENTLY COMPLETED TWO BOOKS OF PURPOSEFUL FICTION.

THE FIRST, CALLED CIRCLES OF INFLUENCE IS BASICALLY A SELF-HELP BOOK. CLEVERLY DISGUISED AS A FICTIONAL INTRIGUE NOVEL.

WHILE TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHO DONE IT, I AM BUSY PROVIDING THE READER WITH USEFUL INFORMATION ABOUT THEMSELVES AND SOCIETY.

AS YOU IDENTIFY WITH THE CHARACTERS DURING THEIR PERSONAL JOURNEYS OF SELF-DISCOVERY AND ENLIGHTENMENT, YOU HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO BE TRANSFORMED AS WELL.

THE INFORMATION AND TOOLS FOR GROWTH PROVIDED TO THE CHARACTERS IN THE STORY ARE DESIGNED TO INFORM, INFLUENCE AND ENCOURAGE THE READER.

6. MY SECOND BOOK, CIRCLES OF HUMANITY, FOLLOWS SOME OF THE CHARACTERS FROM THE FIRST BOOK FORTY YEARS FROM NOW AFTER THEY HAVE TRANSFORMED OUR CURRENT SEGMENTED GLOBAL SOCIETY INTO ONE OF UNIFIED POSITIVITY.

SOMEONE SUGGESTED TO ME RECENTLY THAT IT SOUNDED LIKE NON-FRICTION.

IT USES ANOTHER FICTIONAL STORYLINE OF INTRIGUE TO DELIVER A VISION OF AN IDEOLOGY FOR THE READER TO CONSIDER AND A BROAD BLUEPRINT FOR SOCIETY TO FOLLOW.

7. WHAT MOTIVATES US TO WRITE FICTION?

EACH OF US IN THIS ROOM WILL HAVE A SUBTLY DIFFERENT ANSWER TO THAT QUESTION.

WE WRITE FOR A WIDE VARIETY OF REASONS OR PURPOSES. IT COULD BE FOR PERSONAL SATISFACTION, A SENSE OF ACCOMPLISHMENT, TO PAY FOR GROCERIES, OR SIMPLY FOR FAME AND FORTUNE, WHICH WE ALL KNOW IS THE INEVITABLE BY-PRODUCT OF MOST OF OUR WRITING EFFORTS.

THESE ARE ALL COMMON AND VALID MOTIVATORS BUT THEY ALL HAVE ONE THING IN COMMON.

THEY ALL FOCUS ON BENEFITING THE WRITER.

WHAT I WANT TO TALK ABOUT THIS EVENING IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE WRITE FOR EXTERNAL PURPOSES?

TO LOOK AT HOW THE READER IS IMPACTED.

THE MOMENT A READER SCANS THE OPENING LINE OF ANY NEW DOCUMENT, A RELATIONSHIP IS CREATED AND A FORM OF COMMUNICATION IS INITIATED.

ONCE YOU BEGIN TO READ A BOOK, YOU WILL NEVER BE EXACTLY THE SAME AGAIN.

JUST AS YOUR PHYSICAL AND SOCIAL ENVIRONMENTS HAVE CONDITIONED YOU THROUGHOUT YOUR LIFE, EVERY WORD AND NUANCE FROM A BOOK WILL AFFECT YOU IN SOME WAY.

THE INFLUENCE MAY BE AS SUBTLE AS A RAY OF SUNSHINE ON YOUR CHEEK OR AS DRAMATIC AS A LIGHTNING STRIKE, BUT BE ASSURED THAT SOMETHING WITHIN YOU WILL HAVE SHIFTED IN SOME WAY.

IF NOT, WHAT IS THE POINT OF READING. IT IS ONE WAY TO CONNECT WITH THE WORLD AROUND US AND INEVITABLY, IT ADJUSTS YOUR VIEW OF THAT WORLD

IF YOU ONLY READ ONE GENRE OF BOOK, YOUR PERSPECTIVE WILL NARROW AND YOUR MIND AND HEART WILL UNKNOWINGLY FOLLOW.

A FEW YEARS AGO, I BEGAN WRITING MY BOOKS TO MAKE USE OF MY NEWFOUND RETIREMENT SCHEDULE AND MY CREATIVITY.

MY WRITING SPAWNED AN IDEA WHICH EVOLVED INTO A PURPOSE, AND NOW I WANT TO CHANGE THE WORLD.

I BEGAN TO WRITE FOR PERSONAL REASONS, BUT SOMEWHERE IN THE PROCESS, A TRANSFORMATION OCCURRED.

MY FOCUS SHIFTED TO THE READER. I DELIBERATELY WROTE THE BOOKS TO INFORM AND INSPIRE THEM.

THEY BECAME MY PURPOSE.

THEREFORE, MY BOOKS WOULD FALL INTO THE GENRE OF PURPOSEFUL FICTION, IF SUCH A GENRE EVEN EXISTS.

8. IF YOU GOOGLE THE TERM PURPOSEFUL FICTION, YOU WILL DISCOVER VERY LITTLE OF ANYTHING TO SUGGEST THAT THE GENRE DOES EXIST.

THERE IS A LINK TO A WEBSITE BY A WRITER WITH A GREAT NAME CALLED PIPER PUNCHES, WHO ADMITS TO WRITING PURPOSEFUL FICTION.

SHE CATEGORIZES HER WORK INTO FICTION AND TRUTH AND SEEMS TO WORK WITH A BALANCE OF THE TWO.

HAVING WRITTEN EVERYTHING FROM MOVIES TO ARTICLES ON IMPORTANT SOCIAL ISSUES, SHE WOULD SEEM TO BE AN AUTHOR OF PURPOSEFUL FICTION WELL WORTH FOLLOWING.

SO BASED ON MY UNSUCCESSFUL GOOGLE SEARCH, IT WOULD SEEM THAT THE GENRE JUST CONSISTS OF PIPER AND ME.

COULD THAT BE POSSIBLE? THE SHORT ANSWER IS NO!. WE ARE SURROUNDED BY PURPOSEFUL FICTION, WE JUST NEED TO RECOGNIZE WHAT IT IS.

9. LET’S LOOK BACK TO WHEN WE WERE YOUNG CHILDREN. THINK OF ALMOST ANY STORY OR FAIRY TALE YOU CAN REMEMBER. IF YOU ARE MY AGE, THEY WILL BE ONES LIKE THE THREE LITTLE PIGS OR THE HARE AND THE TORTOISE.

THEY ARE REPRESENTATIVE OF THE MANY TALES THAT HAD MORALS ATTACHED TO THEM. IF YOU HAVE A JOB TO DO, DO IT WELL, OR SLOW AND STEADY WINS THE RACE.

THESE WERE THE MESSAGES BEING PRESENTED IN THE 1800’S WHEN THEY WERE WRITTEN. NO, I WASN’T AROUND IN THE 1800’s BUT THE FACT THAT THEY WERE STILL POPULAR A CENTURY LATER WHEN I WAS YOUNG IS A TESTAMENT TO THEIR EFFECT.

SOME OF THE BOOKS I READ MY GRANDCHILDREN TODAY ARE EQUALLY AS PURPOSEFUL BUT HAVE BEEN UPDATED TO CURRENT TOPICS LIKE SELF-ESTEEM AND SOCIAL BEHAVIOR.

DO THESE BOOKS QUALIFY AS PURPOSEFUL FICTION? THEY DEFINITELY APPEAR FICTIONAL GIVEN THAT THE CHARACTERS HAVE TRIANGULAR BODIES AND THE ANIMALS TALK.

THE PURPOSEFUL PART IS UNDENIABLE.

BUT PROMOTING A SOCIAL AGENDA IS NOT THE ONLY PURPOSEFUL ACTION BEING DIRECTED AT CHILDREN.

A DECADE AGO IN THE U.S. ALONE, 17 BILLION DOLLARS A YEAR WAS SPENT ON ADVERTISING THAT DIRECTLY TARGETS CHILDREN.

BASED ON AN ARTICLE IN THE ECONOMIST, IN 2005, IT WAS ESTIMATED THAT CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF 14 INFLUENCE 47% OF ALL HOUSEHOLD SPENDING, WHICH IN THE U.S. ALONE WAS ABOUT 700 BILLION DOLLARS AT THAT TIME.

IT IS TERRIFYING TO THINK HOW MUCH LARGER THOSE NUMBERS WOULD BE TODAY.

IS IT FAIR TO SAY THAT THE ESSENCE OF THESE ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS IS FICTIONAL? I’VE NEVER SEEN A HAMBURGER IN REAL LIFE THAT LOOKS HALF AS DELICIOUS AS THE ONES ON TV, SO PROBABLY, YES!

A LACK OF TRUTH IN ADVERTISING HAS BEEN A CONCERN FOR A LONG TIME.

THERE IS NO DOUBT ABOUT THE FACT THAT THEY ARE PURPOSEFUL.

SO IT IS CLEAR THAT CHILDREN ARE POPULAR TARGETS OF PURPOSEFUL FICTION, BUT WHAT ABOUT ADOLESCENTS AND ADULTS?

IF YOU LOOK AT RELIGIOUS DOCUMENTS LIKE THE BIBLE, THE QUR’AN OR CHAIRMAN MAO’S LETTERS, YOU ARE READING THE MOST CIRCULATED BOOKS OF ALL TIME.

ARE THEY PURPOSEFUL? ABSOLUTELY! ARE THEY FICTIONAL? PERHAPS NOT IN THE NORMAL DEFINITION OF THE TERM. YOU WOULD HAVE TO ASK A SCHOLAR SUCH AS YUVAL HARARI TO MAKE THAT DETERMINATION.

HIS BEST SELLING BOOK, ‘SAPIENS, A BRIEF HISTORY OF HUMANKIND’ SHEDS SOME LIGHT ON HIS THOUGHTS OF WHY RELIGION IS ONE OF THE THREE FUNDAMENTAL MYTHS, ALONG WITH NATION AND THE CORPORATE ECONOMY THAT HAVE BEEN DEVELOPED AS THE PILLARS OF OUR SOCIETIES THAT UNITE LARGE GROUPS OF PEOPLE.

IT WAS HIS THOUGHTS THAT INSPIRED MY SECOND BOOK, CIRCLES OF HUMANITY. IT STRUCK ME THAT THE ONE TRUE COMMONALITY THAT ALL PEOPLE ON EARTH HAVE IS THE FACT THAT WE ARE ALL HUMANS AND OUR BASIC NEEDS ARE TO LOVE AND TO BE LOVED. THAT IS THE ONE UNDENIABLE REALITY THAT SHOULD BE USED TO BRING US ALL TOGETHER AS I ILLUSTRATED IN MY BOOK.

SINCE I DIDN’T COME HERE TO TALK ABOUT RELIGION OR POLITICS, I THINK WE WILL MOVE BACK TO SAFER TOPICS.

LET’S EXAMINE A LIST OF BEST SELLING FICTIONAL NOVELS. THE TOP 10 BEST SELLING BOOKS OF ALL TIME INCLUDE SIX STORIES OF FANTASY INCLUDING DON QUIXOTE, THE LORD OF THE RINGS AND HARRY POTTER, EACH OF WHICH SOLD MORE THAN 85 MILLION COPIES.

J.R.R. TOLKIEN HAS BEEN QUOTED AS HAVING SAID THAT HE DID NOT PURPOSELY INJECT ANY MORAL MESSAGES INTO HIS STORIES. DESPITE THAT PROCLAMATION, I WONDER IF IT IS EVEN POSSIBLE TO WIRTE ANY FICTIONAL MASTERPIECE WITHOUT CREATING SOME SORT OF MORAL OR SOCIAL MESSAGE.

PERHAPS THE MASSIVE POPULARITY OF THIS GENRE MEANS THAT PURE ESCAPISM IS WHAT MOST READERS ARE LOOKING FOR. IT CERTAINLY IS WHAT WE ALL CRAVE FROM TIME TO TIME, BUT I HOPE THERE IS ROOM FOR MORE.

I TOOK AN ENGLISH COURSE ON FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION WHEN I WAS IN UNIVERSITY AND CAME TO REALIZE THE DEPTH THAT COULD EXIST WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF THE STORIES.

FICTION DOESN’T MERELY HAVE TO BE AN ESCAPE. WITHIN THE VAST SPECTRUM OF FICTIONAL AUTHORS IN EXISTENCE, FROM AYN RAND TO J.K ROWLING AND DR. SUESS, WHAT MESSAGES EXIST BETWEEN THE LINES?

WHEN DONE WITH PURPOSE, FICTION CAN BE EVEN MORE IMPACTFUL.

I BELIEVE IT IS OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO MAKE IT SO.

LET’S LOOK BEYOND BOOKS AND LITERATURE FOR A MOMENT. IS IT NOT TRUE THAT VIRTUALLY ANY POLITICAL SPEECH OR NEWS REPORT CONTAINS SOME ASPECT OF PURPOSEFUL FICTION?

I LIVED IN LIBYA DURING THE IRAQ WAR. WE GOT OUR GLOBAL NEWS FROM THREE DISTINCT SOURCES. BBC WORLD, AL JAZEERA AND FOX NEWS. IT BECAME EVIDENT THAT ALL THREE NEWSCASTS COULD NOT SIMULTANEOUSLY BE TRUE.

IT ALSO SEEMS CLEAR TODAY THAT FAKE NEWS IS AS PURPOSEFUL AS IT IS FICTIONAL AND HAS BEEN AROUND LONGER THAN WE MAY HAVE REALIZED.

HOW ABOUT MAINSTREAM TELEVISION AND MOTION PICTURES. HOLLYWOOD EXECUTIVES OPENLY ADMIT THAT THEY PUSH LIBERAL SOCIAL AGENDAS AND POLITICAL BIASSES.

THE PROCESS OF SHOWCASING CONSUMER PRODUCTS IS EQUALLY PREVALENT. NO MATTER HOW SUBLIMINAL OR BLATANT THE EXPOSURE IS, WE ARE ALL BEING INFLUENCED ON A CONSTANT AND DELIBERATE BASIS.

THE PRIMARY QUESTION TO ASK IS, SO WHAT? IS IT BAD TO BE EXPOSED TO INFLUENCES THAT MAKE US THINK ABOUT SOCIAL ISSUES, TO DETERMINE WHAT BRAND OF SOAP TO BUY OR WHICH POLITICIAN TO VOTE FOR?

SHOULD THERE BE WARNING LABELS LIKE ON CIGARETTE PACKAGES, LETTING US KNOW WHEN SOMEONE IS TRYING TO PURPOSELY CONDITION OR INFLUENCE US? PERHAPS FOR PARENTS OF UNSUSPECTING CHILDREN, THE ANSWER WOULD BE YES, BUT WE ARE ALL ADULTS HERE.

IF I DECIDE TO EXAGGERATE THE TRUTH FOR THE PURPOSE OF MAKING YOU BELIEVE WHAT I AM SAYING, IS THAT SO BAD? ISN’T THAT WHAT GOOD STORY TELLERS DO?

PERHAPS, BUT SOMETIMES WE JUST WANT TO RELAX AND ESCAPE TO A SAFE PLACE, AWAY FROM IT ALL.

A GOOD ROMANCE OR MYSTERY NOVEL MIGHT BE JUST THE THING. OR WE CAN JUST FLIP ON THE TV AND HAVE A FEW LAUGHS BY WATCHING AN EPISODE OF MODERN FAMILY.

IF WE DON’T TURN OUR BRAINS ON, WE WON’T NOTICE THE SOCIAL STEREOTYPES, THE PARENT/CHILD RELATIONSHIP DYNAMICS, THE GAY COUPLE WITH THE AN ADOPTED ASIAN CHILD, THE TROPHY WIFE AND THE WORKPLACE GENDER ISSUES.

HEY, NO PROBLEM, THEY ARE MAKING FUN OF EVERYBODY AND IT’S FUNNY. IT’S ALL GOOD. AND MAYBE IT IS, AS LONG AS THE VIEWER UNDERSTANDS WHAT IT IS THAT’S AT PLAY.

ON ONE HAND, THEY ARE ATTEMPTING TO ALLOW US TO SEE OURSELVES IN THE CHARACTERS AND TO LEARN TO LAUGH AT OURSELVES.

ON THE OTHER HAND, THEY ARE CONDITIONING US TO ACCEPT CHANGING SOCIAL AGENDAS AND STANDARDS.

OVER THE PAST FIVE DECADES, WE HAVE BECOME DESENSITIZED TO PROFANITY, SEXUALITY AND VIOLENCE. AT THE SAME TIME WE HAVE BECOME CONDITIONED TO MANY MORE THINGS.

50 YEARS AGO, THE SMOTHERS BROTHERS GOT KICKED OFF OF TELEVISION FOR SUGGESTING THAT THE GOVERNMENT END THE WAR IN VIETNAM.

MAYBE THINGS HAVEN’T CHANGED THAT MUCH SINCE THEN. YOU COULD ASK ROSEANNE BARR WHAT SHE THINKS, OR MAYBE YOU SHOULDN’T.

OKAY, PERHAPS WHAT SHE WAS REPORTED TO HAVE SAID, IN COMPARISON TO THE SMOTHERS BROTHERS, REPRESENTS A BIT OF AN ESCALATION, AND WE ARE ALL ON THE ESCALATOR WITH THEM.

I REALIZE THAT WAS A BIT OF A DIVERGENCE FROM THE TOPIC AT HAND, BUT HOPEFULLY WE CAN ALL AGREE THAT WE ARE SURROUNDED BY, AND ENGAGED WITHIN, A COMPLEX MEDIA SYSTEM THAT PROVIDES US WITH A WIDE RANGE OF MEDIUMS AND CONTENT TO SIFT THROUGH.

MUCH OF IT IS PURPOSEFUL AND FICTIONAL AND THE TWO ARE NOT MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE. IF I WANT TO BE ENTERTAINED AND ESCAPE INTO A FANTASY WORLD, I CAN READ THE HOBBIT. IF I WANT TO LEARN SOMETHING, I CAN BUY A HOW TO BOOK. THESE ENDPOINTS ON THE SPECTRUM OF AVAILABLE OPTIONS ARE REASONABLY CLEAR CUT.

IN THE MIDDLE, IT GETS A BIT MORE TRICKY.

IF I WERE TO END THE TALK AT THIS POINT, YOU WOULD LIKELY LEAVE WITH THE IMPRESSION THAT PURPOSEFUL FICTION IS NEGATIVE, AND THAT WOULD BE UNFORTUNATE, SO NO ONE IS ALLOWED TO LEAVE YET.

THE TRUTH IS THAT IT CAN BE WHATEVER WE WANT IT TO BE. AS WRITERS, EDITORS AND PUBLISHERS, WE DETERMINE THE PURPOSE THAT EXISTS WITHIN OUR WORK.

AS I MENTIONED EARLIER, WE ALL CREATE FOR INDIVIDUAL AND PERSONAL REASONS, SO LET’S LOOK AT HOW YOUR SPECIFIC PURPOSE CAN AFFECT YOUR WORK PRODUCT.

10. WE WILL DO THIS BY DELVING DEEPER INTO THE REALM OF PURPOSE SINCE THAT IS AT THE HEART OF WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT.

I DID ANOTHER GOOGLE SEARCH AND DISCOVERED AN ENDLESS SUPPLY OF WEBSITES, READY TO EXPOUND ON EVERY CONCEIVABLE ASPECT OF PURPOSE YOU CAN IMAGINE.

THEY PRETTY MUCH ALL BOIL DOWN TO A MESSAGE AS QUOTED BY FREDERICK NIETZSCHE.(KNEE CHA)

HE WHO HAS A WHY TO LIVE FOR CAN BEAR ALMOST ANY HOW. THE WHY HE REFERRED TO IS YOUR PURPOSE.

11. I ALSO CAME ACROSS A GREAT 10 MINUTE TED TALK THAT I WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH YOU. IT IS A PERFECT SUMMARIZATION OF MY GOOGLE SEARCH, IT WAS GIVEN BY A WELL KNOWN MOVIE PRODUCER NAMED ADAM LEIPZIG AT A TED TALK EVENT IN MALIBU.

IT IS CALLED “HOW TO KNOW YOUR LIFE PURPOSE IN 5 MINUTES”. LET’S SEE IF HE CAN HELP US DO THAT.

FEEL FREE TO RESPOND TO HIS QUESTIONS IN THE EXERCISE VERBALLY AS IF HE WAS HERE WITH US.

https://youtu.be/vVsXO9brK7M

I HOPE YOU ENJOYED THAT AS MUCH AS I DID WHEN I FIRST SAW IT. IF YOU ARE LIKE ME, YOU MAY HAVE TO THINK A BIT LONGER WHEN IT COMES TO ANSWERING THE 5 QUESTIONS HE ASKED, ALTHOUGH I DID KNOW MY NAME RIGHT AWAY.

AS SIMPLE AS THE 5 QUESTIONS MAY BE, WE ARE BEING FORCED TO SEE THINGS FROM A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE THAN WE MAY BE USED TO.

IT TOOK ME A COUPLE OF DAYS TO REALIZE THAT MY ANSWER TO THE QUESTION OF “WHAT DO I DO?” IS THAT “I HELP PEOPLE REALIZE NEW POSSIBILITIES.

I CAME TO UNDERSTAND THAT I TRIED TO DO THAT WITH MY CHILDREN AND ALSO THROUGHOUT MY CAREER. IT IS WHY I AM HERE PRESENTING TO YOU TODAY.

I’D LOVE TO HEAR BACK FROM YOU ON MY WEBSITE AND FIND OUT WHAT EACH OF YOU DO. OR BETTER YET, COME UP AFTER THIS TALK AND TELL ME IN PERSON.

12. AS I MENTIONED EARLIER, MY BOOKS ARE DESIGNED TO HELP THE READER UNDERSTAND:

* HOW THEIR BRAIN WORKS,

* WHAT SOCIETAL INFLUENCES EXIST,

* HOW TO TAKE CONTROL OF THEIR LIVES AND

* TO ILLUSTRATE WHERE IT WOULD LEAD OUR SOCIETY WHEN ENOUGH PEOPLE LEARN WHAT IT IS TO BE HUMAN.

IN OTHER WORDS, TO FULFILL MY PURPOSE OF HELPING A READER REALIZE NEW POSSIBILITIES.

MY CONCERN WAS THAT THE MATERIAL WOULD BE TOO DRY TO BE READABLE. THE FACT THAT I AM NOT A PSYCHOLOGIST PRECLUDED ME FROM WRITING A TEXT BOOK OR CREATING AN AUTHORITARIAN PODCAST FEATURING POST-DOCTORATE VOCABULARY.

BESIDES, I WANTED TO REACH OUR MAINSTREAM SOCIETY. IF I COULD HAVE CONDENSED MY MESSAGE ONTO YOUTUBE LIKE MR. LEIPZIG, OR INTO THE LYRICS OF A MUSIC VIDEO, THAT MAY HAVE BEEN PERFECT, BUT MY MEDIUM OF CHOICE WERE FICTIONAL SUSPENSE NOVELS.

13. FOR THE NEXT FEW MINUTES, I’D LIKE TO HIRE ALL OF YOU AS MEDIA CONSULTANTS SO WE CAN BRAINSTORM AND HELP ME UNDERSTAND HOW TO FULFILL MY PURPOSE BY GETTING MY MESSAGE OUT TO THE MOST PEOPLE.

ADMITTEDLY, YOU ARE GOING TO BE VERY POORLY COMPENSATED MEDIA CONSULTANTS, BUT I DO HAVE PRIZES FOR WHOEVER KNOWS THE ANSWERS TO MY SPECIFIC QUESTIONS.

WHO KNOWS HOW MANY COPiES THE AVERAGE PUBLISHED BOOK SELLS IN ITS LIFETIME? THE ANSWER IS 3000, OVER A LONG PERIOD OF TIME. (HAND OUT THE PRIZE)

IN THE VIDEO WE WATCHED, ADAM STATED THAT THERE WERE 151 THOUSAND BOOKS FOR SALE ON AMAZON ON HOW TO FIND PURPOSE. AT 3000 COPIES EACH, THEY WOULD HAVE CUMULATIVELY SOLD 450 MILLION COPIES. ROUGHLY ONE FOR EVERY BOOKSHELF IN NORTH AMERICA.

IF THAT’S THE CASE, THEN WHY AREN’T WE ALL PURPOSEFUL AND HAPPY?

PERHAPS SIMPLY READING A BOOK ABOUT PURPOSE DOESN’T MAKE IT HAPPEN. IS THERE A BETTER MEDIUM FOR THE MESSAGE THAT WILL REACH MORE PEOPLE OR IMPACT THEM DIFFERENTLY?

WHO KNOWS THE AVERAGE NUMBER OF TICKETS SOLD TO A MOTION PICTURE RELEASED IN THE UNITED STATES?

THE CORRECT ANSWER IS JUST OVER 2 MILLION, WHICH IS ALSO APPROXIMATELY THE NUMBER OF AVERAGE VIEWERS OF A PRIME TIME TV SHOW. (PRIZE)

IF A MOVIE BASED ON MY BOOKS WAS PRODUCED BY ADAM LEIPZIG, IT WOULD UNDOUBTEDLY BE A BLOCKBUSTER, SO NOW WE ARE INFLUENCING 5 OR 10 MILLION PEOPLE.

NOW LET’S LOOK BACK AT YOUTUBE VIDEOS. DOES ANYONE KNOW HOW MANY VIEWS THAT MIGHT GET ME? THE NEXT PRIZE GOES TO WHOEVER KNOWS HOW MANY VIEWERS THE MOST POPULAR VIDEO OF ALL TIME RECEIVED. (PRIZE)

LAST YEAR, A MAN IN THAILAND SINGING A SONG IN A CONTEST WHILE WEARING AN OYSTER COSTUME GOT 182 MILLION VIEWS. IN COMPARISON, THE TOP LISTENED TO TED TALK OF ALL TIME , BY SIR KEN ROBINSON ON CREATIVITY AND SCHOOL CURRICULUMS, HAD ABOUT 15 MILLION LISTENERS, 8 PERCENT OF THE SINGING OYSTER,

HIS PEARLS OF WISDOM SEEMED TO BE LACKING SOMETHING, BUT THAT’S IMPRESSIVE NONETHELESS.

SO WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED. BASED ON OUR BRAINSTORMING, MY PLAN SHOULD BE TO:

- BUY AND OYSTER COSTUME AND CREATE A YOUTUBE VIDEO WHICH WILL GAIN HUGE POPULARITY,

- THEN, I’LL SEND IT TO ELLEN DEGENERES, WHO WILL TELL HER ASSISTANT TO GO ON MY WEBSITE AND READ MY BOOKS AND BLOGS. SHE WILL HAVE ME ON HER SHOW AND I WILL BE EXPOSED TO 5 MILLION MORE PEOPLE.

-THE INEVITABLE MOVIE DEAL DEVELOPS AND THE MESSAGE IS EXPOSED TO ANOTHER 5 OR 10 MILLION.

AND THEN I WAKE UP FROM MY DREAM AND I SEE NOTHING BUT THE PILE OF UNSOLD AUTHORS COPIES OF MY BOOKS THAT ARE OUT ON THE VENDORS TABLE.

WHAT WILL I HAVE THEN?

THE ANSWER IS THAT I WILL HAVE HAD A PURPOSE, BUT INTERESTINGLY, NOT THE ONE I STARTED OUT WITH.

INITIALLY, I THOUGHT THAT WRITING TWO BOOKS AND DEVELOPING A WEBSITE FULL OF IDEAS, EDUCATION AND BLOGS PROMOTING IDEALS I FEEL STRONGLY ABOUT WAS MY PURPOSE.

I BEGAN WRITING MY BOOKS FOR THE SELF-FOCUSSED REASONS I DISCUSSED EARLIER. CREATIVITY, PERSONAL SATISFACTION AND ACHIEVEMENT. THOSE THINGS ARE DEFINITELY REAL, BUT THEY ARE ONLY ABOUT ME AND MY EGO.

THEN SOMETHING HAPPENED DURING THE PROCESS OF WRITING AND IMAGINING.

I FOUND AN OUTWARD PURPOSE. MY PROCESS BECAME ABOUT THE READER INSTEAD OF BEING ABOUT ME.

PROMOTING THE PERSONAL AND SOCIAL IDEALS OUTLINED IN MY BOOKS BECAME MY PURPOSE. I FINISHED THE BOOKS AND CREATED A WEBSITE, AND I FELT GOOD ABOUT THE ACHIEVEMENTS, BUT THAT WASN’T ENOUGH.

THE MESSAGE AND ITS ABILITY TO HELP PEOPLE BECAME THE PURPOSE. AS ALAN LEIPZIG POINTED OUT IN HIS VIDEO, YOU GAIN TRUE PURPOSE WHEN YOU FOCUS OUTWARD.

IF MY EFFORTS ALLOW OTHER PEOPLE TO GAIN PERSPECTIVE THAT HELPS THEM IMPROVE THEIR LIVES, THEN MY EFFORTS WILL HAVE BEEN SUCCESSFUL.

OBVIOUSLY, THE MORE PEOPLE WHO ARE POSITIVELY INFLUENCED, THE BETTER, BUT I WOULD BE UNWISE TO TIE MY LEVEL OF SATISFACTION TO STATISTICS.

UNDOUBTEDLY MY EGO IS DRAWN TO THE ELLEN DEGENERES, VIRAL INTERNET, MOTION PICTURE SCENARIO, BUT AS YOU WILL LEARN IF YOU READ MY BOOKS, YOUR EGO LIES TO YOU. IT ACTS SELFISHLY AGAINST YOUR BEST INTERESTS AS IT TRIES TO MAINTAIN CONTROL OVER THE YOU THAT IT HAS CONSTRUCTED.

HAVING MY NAME ON THE COVER OF A BOOK IS NOT A BIG DEAL. HAVING PURPOSE AND SELF-RESPECT ARE TWO PRIMARY CORNERSTONES OF HAPPINESS AND LONGEVITY. THAT IS WHAT I AM LOOKING FOR.

14. I WANT TO SHOW YOU ONE MORE SHORT VIDEO CLIP THAT DEFINES PURPOSE. IT IS OF MY GRANDSON, LEVI. IT DOCUMENTS HIS PROGRESSION UP TO 1 YEAR OF AGE FINDING A NEW PERSPECTIVE FROM WHICH TO VIEW HIS LIFE.

Link to Levi’s video.

IMAGINE EACH OF US APPLYING THE SAME LEVEL OF DETERMINATION AS LEVI DEMONSTRATED TO ACHIEVE OUR GOALS.

HE DID THAT ON HIS OWN, BUT I CAN’T WAIT TO HELP HIM REALIZE NEW OPPORTUNITIES OF PURPOSE AS HE GROWS.

TO HELP HIM TRIUMPH AS HE GAINS INSIGHTS AND SKILLS THAT OVER TIME WILL DEFINE AND FULFILL HIM.

15. AS WE NEAR THE CONCLUSION OF THIS TALK, I WOULD LIKE TO ADDRESS THE KEY ASPECT OF THE MESSAGE I WISH TO LEAVE YOU WITH,

THE NEED FOR A SPECIFIC GENRE OF FICTION CALLED PURPOSEFUL IS RATHER ACADEMIC. WHAT IS IMPORTANT TO ME IS MY PURPOSE, WHICH IS TO HELP PEOPLE REALIZE NEW POSSIBILITIES.

I BELIEVE THAT ONE WAY THIS CAN BE DONE IS THROUGH THE ADVANCEMENT OF POSITIVITY. ADVANCEMENT MEANS MOVING FROM AN EXISTING REALITY TO A FUTURE POSSIBILITY. TO TRACK OUR ADVANCEMENT MEANS THAT WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND WHERE WE ARE AND WHAT WE WANT TO ACHIEVE. SO WHERE ARE WE?

GO ON NETFLIX AND SEE HOW HARD IT IS TO FIND SOMETHING THAT MAKES YOU THINK OR FEEL GOOD ABOUT YOURSELF OR THE WORLD IN GENERAL. MAYBE THAT VOID IS A GOOD THING FOR THOSE OF US WHO PROMOTE BOOKS. IT CREATES A NEED THAT WE CAN FILL. BUT WHY DOES THE VOID EXIST?

HAS OUR SOCIETY CONDITIONED US TO BELIEVE THAT NEGATIVITY IS MORE MARKETABLE OR RELATABLE THAN POSITIVITY?

WE NEED TO CREATE STORIES OF ENLIGHTENMENT AND POSSIBILITY. CONFLICT, ANTAGONISM, NEGATIVE STEREOTYPES AND BIASSES FIND THEIR WAY INTO OUR STORIES AS WE SEARCH FOR RELATE-ABILITY AND REALISM.

BUT DO WE REALLY WANT TO BE RELATABLE WHEN WE COULD BE INSPIRATIONAL?

ARE WE OKAY WITH REALISM WHEN WE COULD HAVE OPTIMISM?

AS INDIVIDUALS, WE HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO BE BETTER THAN THE SOCIETY WE LIVE IN. AS WRITERS, WE CAN HELP OUR READERS BE BETTER.

I AM CHALLENGING MYSELF TO FOCUS ON POSITIVITY AND I WOULD LOVE FOR EACH OF YOU TO JOIN ME.

MY MESSAGE TO EACH OF YOU, AS PEOPLE WHO WRITE, PERFECT AND SELL BOOKS IS THAT YOU COLLECTIVELY DETERMINE WHAT INFLUENCES PASS THROUGH OUR INDUSTRY TO A PUBLIC WHO NEED MORE POSITIVITY IN THIER LIVES.

OUR SOCIETIES ARE NOT UNIFORMLY CREATING AN ENVIRONMENT OF HOPE AND OPTIMISM.

WHILE THERE ARE COUNTESS INDIVIDUALS AND ORGANIZATIONS AROUND THE GLOBE ATTEMPTING TO DO GOOD, IN SOME RESPECTS, THEY ARE SWIMMING UPSTREAM AGAINST THE NEGATIVITY OF THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA AND OUR SOCIETAL STRUCTURE.

NEGATIVITY AND CONFLICT ARE AT THE HEART OF ALMOST EVERY ISSUE AND NEGOTIATION.

THAT’S WHY WE NEED TO USE OUR COLLECTIVE INFLUENCE AND TALENTS TO PROMOTE POSITIVITY. WE NEED TO LEAD SOCIETY, NOT FOLLOW IT. WE NEED TO REFLECT THE BEST OF WHAT SOCIETY HAS TO OFFER.

I AM ASKING EACH OF YOU TODAY TO CREATE THE NEED TO HAVE A NEW GENRE OF FICTION THAT IS REFERRED TO AS PURPOSEFUL AND TO ENSURE THAT IT IS GROUNDED IN POSITIVITY.

LOOK FOR WAYS IN YOUR WRITING TO INJECT MESSAGES OF HOPE AND ENLIGHTENMENT. HELP SHAPE A POSITIVE FUTURE FOR ALL OF US ALL BY BEGINNING TO DEFINE IT.

EACH OF US WILL SEE DISTINCT VIEWS OF A RANGE OF POSSIBILITIES AND ALLOW FOR A DIVERSITY OF WAYS FORWARD, BUT IF THEY ARE ALL HOUSED WITHIN THE SPECTRUM OF POSITIVITY, WE WILL ALL HAVE THE PRIVILEGE OF ATTAINING PURPOSE AND SELF-RESPECT.

16. I WOULD LIKE TO THANK YOU ALL FOR COMING TO THIS TALK AND FOR ACTING AS MY MEDIA CONSULTANTS.

IN THE END, I HAVE DECIDED NOT TO COUNT ON THE FAME AND FORTUNE ROUTE.

I WILL CONTINUE WITH MY PERSONAL CONTRIBUTIONS AND JOIN IN WITH THOSE OF YOU WHO SHARE A SIMILAR PURPOSE OF POSITIVITY.

I UNDERSTAND THAT IT IS NOT WITHIN ME ALONE TO EFFECT POSITIVE CHANGE ON OUR GLOBAL SOCIETY.

TODAY, I AM HERE TO ENCOURAGE EACH OF YOU TO CONSIDER A NEW PERSPECTIVE.

TOMORROW IS A NEW DAY, WITH NEW POSSIBILITIES.

THANK YOU FOR LISTENING. IF ANYONE HAS ANY QUESTIONS, I WOULD BE HAPPY TO TRY TO ANSWER THEM.

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