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How To Borrow Ambiguity For Fun


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If you watch a lot of movies, you'll start to see patterns.

Long ago, when the first Harry Potter movies started coming out, a buddy of mine was perplexed.

He didn't read the books, and wanted to know what all the fuss was about.

So he went to see the first movie.

After he saw it, he was still a bit perplexed.

"Dude, it's just like Star Wars. I don't get it," he said.

And he was correct.

An orphan finds out he's special.

This special orphan has to go on a mission.

To find and kill some bad guy.

Harry and Voldemort, Luke and Vader.

Luke had a light saber and was a Jedi.

Harry had a magic wand, and was a wizard.

In fiction, they say there are only seven basic stories.

If you study music, you'll find the same chord progressions in pretty much every song.

Funny thing about humans is most of us tend to pay attention to the CONTENT, but not the STRUCTURE.

The STRUCTURE of every hero's journey movie is essentially the same.

An orphan finds out he's special.

He meets a bunch of friends, and has to fight against a bad guy.

When Joseph Campbell wrote the book about this structure, after studying mythology from around the world, gave it an appropriate title:

"The Hero With 1000 Faces."

Luke Skywalker, Harry Potter, Neo, Peter Parker, Dorothy, and on and on.

This is a very, very cool thing.

Because once you understand the STRUCTURE of something, coming with different content is VERY easy.

What else has a similar structure?


Nearly all humor is based on ambiguity.

A quick story, and then the "punch line."

The punch line nearly ALWAYS leverages some kind of ambiguity.

Some jokes are set up so we assume the ambiguity goes one way, but it goes the other.

The famous Groucho Marx joke:

"Last night I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got into my pajamas I'll never know!"

Even elementary school yard riddles are based on ambiguity.

Why is six afraid of seven?

Seven ate nine!

What did the ocean say when the tide came in?

Long time no sea!

Why did the boy study on an airplane?

He was in high school!

Once you understand the structure of humor, telling jokes is easy.

Making up jokes is easy.

Because built into our language is a TON of ambiguity.

Once you start playing with other people's ambiguity, you can have a lot of fun.

Wanna know what ELSE is based a lot of vague ambiguity?


And when you combine the structure of hypnosis with humor, a wizard you will become.

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