The Power of Storytelling: How Intention and Obstacle Drive Success

Aadil Verma

Hatched by Aadil Verma

Apr 07, 2024

4 min read


The Power of Storytelling: How Intention and Obstacle Drive Success

Storytelling has always captivated audiences, whether it's through books, movies, or even everyday conversations. But what makes a good story? Can it be taught in a three-hour masterclass? According to Shaan Puri in his interview on the How I Write Podcast, the key to storytelling can be boiled down to a simple concept: intention and obstacle.

Puri explains that intention and obstacle are the driving forces behind any compelling story. At any given moment, the hero of the story, whether it's a fictional character or someone you're talking about, must have a clear intention. What do they want? And more importantly, why do they want it? This clarity of purpose fuels the story and keeps the audience engaged.

But it's not just about what the hero wants; it's also about what stands in their way. The obstacle is what creates tension and conflict, making the story more compelling. Take, for example, the story of Harry Potter. His intention is simple: he wants to live. However, the obstacle is formidable – Voldemort, the most powerful wizard of all time, is trying to kill him. This clash between intention and obstacle drives the entire series and keeps readers hooked.

So how can we apply this concept of intention and obstacle to our own lives? One way is by identifying our own intentions and the obstacles that stand in our way. By understanding what we truly want and what challenges we face, we can create a compelling narrative for ourselves.

But storytelling isn't just about personal growth; it can also be a powerful tool for building a following and achieving success. Take the example of JD, who shared his journey on Twitter. He went from creating a new Instagram page to amassing 215k followers and over 10 million views in just a few weeks. How did he do it? He attributes his success to his ability to work for free.

JD realized that when he worked without the expectation of monetary gain, he was able to tap into his true passion and produce content that resonated with others. Whether it was creating content for a creator he admired or working on projects during his college years, it was the freedom to pursue what brought him joy that ultimately led to his success.

This idea is a reminder that sometimes, the greatest strength lies in our ability to work without the constraints of financial reward. When we do what we love simply because it brings us fulfillment, the results can be exponential. JD's story serves as a testament to the power of following our passions and embracing the journey, even if it means working for free.

So how can we apply this lesson to our own lives? Here are three actionable pieces of advice:

  • 1. Find your passion: Take the time to explore what truly brings you joy and fulfillment. What activities make you lose track of time? What topics or subjects do you find yourself constantly drawn to? Discovering your passion will give you the fuel to create compelling stories and content.
  • 2. Embrace the journey: Success is rarely an overnight phenomenon. It takes time, effort, and dedication to build a following or achieve your goals. Instead of solely focusing on the end result, embrace the process and find joy in the small victories along the way. Remember, the story is in the journey, not just the destination.
  • 3. Work for free: Don't underestimate the power of doing what you love without expecting immediate financial gain. By working on projects that bring you joy and align with your passion, you'll not only create content that resonates with others but also attract opportunities and build a loyal following in the long run.

In conclusion, storytelling is a powerful tool that can drive personal growth, build a following, and achieve success. By understanding the concept of intention and obstacle, we can create compelling narratives that captivate audiences. Additionally, JD's story reminds us of the importance of working without the constraints of financial reward, allowing us to tap into our true passions and create content that resonates with others. So go forth, embrace the power of storytelling, and let your intentions and obstacles shape your journey towards success.

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