Why News Stories are NOT Facts!


It was a little over 3 years ago I was sitting in a room filled with a hundred other people of various ages and backgrounds. ๐Ÿ‘ฅ

We all were sitting quietly, listening to the teacher at the front of the room as he calmly spoke with a distraught student who had come up to one of the nearby microphones set up next to him. ๐ŸŽค

It was the end of September 2017, and I was attending a weekend seminar known as the Landmark Forum. It was one of the most mentally challenging experiences I ever had, not in a bad way but in how it really challenged my way of thinking. ๐Ÿคฏ

And it wasnโ€™t just me. It challenged ALL OF US as students who participated that weekend! We were introduced to ideas and teachings which challenged how we saw our very lives and the world around us. ๐Ÿ‘๏ธ

Without giving event details away (I recommend you attend), I do want to share with you all a teaching I learned while I there which I’ve been using ever since…


In a similar vein as my previous post ( https://bit.ly/2ZToyBm ), I want to share with you all a realization that just BLEW MY MIND when I started seeing this teaching reflected in everyday situations. ๐Ÿคฏ

I share this with you because I believe THIS can be applied to so many areas of our lives! ๐Ÿ‘

With this teaching, you can save yourself a TON of unnecessary stress, a TON of unnecessary worry, and take your personal self-control to an entirely new level! ๐Ÿ˜

Now without sounding too over-the-top, let me explain…โœ๏ธ

I want you to imagine for a moment you hear about a nearby shooting on the news. ๐Ÿ’ฅ You hear about the shooter’s personal background, how he ran from the police, and how he led the police on a car chase through 3 towns before crashing and being arrested. ๐Ÿ‘ฎ

You hear from the cop’s interviews about how remorseless the shooter was, the testimonials from witness about how terrified they were, and you keep remembering how close the shooting was in proximity to your home. ๐Ÿ 

The incident passes. The shooter is now in jail. End of story. ๐Ÿ“˜

Life goes onโ€ฆbut not quite! โ˜๏ธ

Instead of not locking your front door like you used to, you now start locking your door. In fact, you double-lock it! ๐Ÿ”’

Instead of allowing your child to go outside independently the way he used to, you start feeling more hesitant to let him. You start thinking he needs your supervision, despite him having gone out hundreds of time on his own. ๐Ÿ›ก๏ธ

And when youโ€™re driving in your car, every time you’re about to drive past the area where the shooting happened, you find yourself taking a detour. ๐Ÿš—

But wait! The incident has passed. The shooter is in jail. The danger is gone. ๐Ÿ’ฏ

So why has your behavior changed? Why is your mind acting as if the shooter is still out on the streets? ๐Ÿค”


One of the most important teachings I learned attending the Landmark Forum was THIS: separate What Happened vs. The Story About What Happened.

๐ŸŒŸ What Happened: The Facts and nothing but the Facts.

๐Ÿ“– The Story About What Happened: The mental narrative created around the facts.

What if I told you the news doesnโ€™t tell you Facts? ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

It presents to you a Story about the Facts, about What Happened. It adds EMOTION to the Facts. ๐Ÿ“–

Think about it: Would you really read a news story that just wrote Facts like…?

๐Ÿ“ฐ โ€œA shooting happened on [STREET] at [TIME]. The shooter was identified as [NAME]. The shooter drove a [CAR TYPE]. The police followed the shooter’s car through 3 towns: [TOWN #1], [TOWN #2], and [TOWN #3]. The car crashed. The police arrested the shooter. He is awaiting trial at [PRISON NAME].โ€ ๐Ÿ“ฐ

If the news only told you What Happened, no emotion, no witness testimonies, no police statements, no opinions, no drama whatsoever, you would be BORED OUT OF YOUR MIND watching! ๐Ÿ˜ด

I would be too! ๐Ÿ˜…

The same even goes for my posts! If I just gave you just a list of facts without any emotion and passion (not to mention no emojis), youโ€™d not have as of a desire to keep on reading, would you?

Itโ€™s why I share Stories with you; we as humans LIKE Stories. It’s the same reason we go to the movies or read fictional books. ๐Ÿ‘€

There’s nothing wrong with this either; Stories allow us to experience a whole range of emotions we wouldn’t get to experience without them. ๐Ÿ˜Š

So, my point is: it’s not Facts that influence us, rather itโ€™s the Stories, the emotions around the Facts which influence us. ๐Ÿ™Œ

But the problem is when all the Stories we hear about on a daily basis are negative. ๐Ÿ‘ฟ

Itโ€™s when they starts influencing us to do things we wouldn’t normally do without them. It’s when they influence us to start locking our doors, when they influence us to be worried about the dangers outside our home, when they influence our worst fears to take over our critical thinking, that it becomes a grave problem. ๐Ÿ˜จ

The fact is, the incident has passed. The shooter is in jail. The danger is gone. Nevertheless, your mind has created an internal Story about the world based around what it heard on the news. ๐Ÿ“–

Of course it’s illogical to assume thereโ€™s danger still outside your home based on 1 single incident and where the shooter was caught. ๐Ÿ‘

But your emotions are dictating to you otherwise, making you BELIEVE as if the danger is still near. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ


That is why is it SO IMPORTANT we distinguish these 2 things!

๐Ÿ“Œ So we help ourselves have a clearer look at situations and not through the lens of our emotions.

๐Ÿ“Œ So we can remind ourselves, through a logical perspective, of what to actually be concerned and not be concerned about.

๐Ÿ“Œ So we can crumble the internal Stories that fear will create in our minds about situations.

And this doesnโ€™t just happen with news stories either! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

Think about situations you have with other people! ๐Ÿ‘ฅ

๐ŸŒŸ What Happened: Someone says to you, โ€œI appreciate you!โ€

๐Ÿ“– The Story You Tell About What Happened:

๐Ÿง  โ€œThey just said that to be nice.โ€


๐Ÿง  โ€œTheyโ€™re right, I am amazing!โ€


๐Ÿง  โ€œThey are weird for saying that! Iโ€™m not worth appreciating.โ€

๐ŸŒŸ What Happened: Your friend says he will be at your house in 10 minutes. He is late. He smiles when he sees you and says, โ€œIโ€™m sorry Iโ€™m late.โ€

๐Ÿ“– The Story You Tell About What Happened:

๐Ÿง  โ€œ5 minutes late, no big deal!โ€


๐Ÿง  โ€œClearly he doesnโ€™t care enough to be on time!โ€


๐Ÿง  โ€œHe just is not a person I can trust to be on time anymore!โ€

โญ You donโ€™t remember the Facts; you remember the Stories you created around the Facts. โญ

While I may be hitting the nail on the head a bit excessively here, I do this because I want you to see how much these internal Stories control our lives. ๐Ÿ‘

If we don’t control the Stories we tell ourselves, our Stories will control us! ๐Ÿ˜ฉ

So the next time you see hear a story on the news, read a tabloid article online, or have a conversation with someone which fills you up with negative emotions, take a step back. ๐Ÿ‘ฃ

Take a few deep breaths…๐ŸŒฌ๏ธ


Ask yourself:

๐Ÿค” What are the Facts this situation provides? Remember: feelings and opinions are NOT the same as Facts.

๐Ÿค” What are the Stories coming out of the situation in my mind? What is the meaning I’m giving to the situation?

Because when we continue to develop ourselves, when we continue to become more aware of the Stories we tell ourselves, when we see they are simply Stories we will then realize we have the power to change them. ๐Ÿ’ช

Because who doesn’t want to have more empowering Stories run their life? ๐Ÿฅฐ



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