Leaving Loops Open

art of encore living personal development Oct 31, 2022

I've said it many times, human beings make sense of themselves, their circumstances, and each other through narrative.

Put another way, choose your story, choose your future.

And nothing makes a story more engaging than an open loop.

What's an open loop?

In storytelling, an open loop introduces uncertainty that triggers our natural desire for a conclusion (AKA "closing the loop").

Copywriters and television writers use the open loop device all the time.

They create characters we emotionally invest in and place them into an unresolved crisis or conflict (AKA a "cliffhanger").

The resulting tension creates a desire (even demand) for resolution, which marketers and other storytellers can exploit (with intention and integrity) to encourage enrollment and investment in the journey on offer.

But are there situations where keeping loops open are desirable?

While human beings are programmed by biology and evolution to crave and cling to conclusions and certainty, there are VERY few conclusions and certainties that are absolute. 

What current assumptions do you hold as absolute truths? Would these closed loops benefit from being opened?

Might abandoning these certainties encourage the curiosity and consideration that lead to better conclusions?


Scott Perry, Encore Life Coach at The Art of Encore Living

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