This past weekend I spent some time in NYC. Among all the other tourist-y things there, my wife and I caught Disney’s Aladdin on Broadway.
If you get it a chance to see it, do it! It’s quite good.
The original story of Aladdin is actually from a collection of Middle Eastern literature called One Thousand and One Nights.
One Thousand and One Nights has its own origin story.
Once upon a time, a ruling king discovered that his wife had been unfaithful. He has her killed and decides that all women are the same.
So he starts marrying all the virgins in the kingdom and then has them killed the next day before they become unfaithful (he’s not exactly what you’d consider great “husband material”).
Finally, when they can’t find anyone else for him to marry, the vizier’s daughter offers to marry the king herself.
But she has a plan: In order to keep the king from killing her, she begins telling him a story. But rather than ending the story and accepting her fate, she ends the story as a cliffhanger.
The king, curious as to how the story will end, decides to let her live for another day.
The next day she finishes that section of the story and begins to elaborate on a new story – again leaving off in the middle to pique the king’s curiosity.
Night after night she tells him a story but leaves off before the end. The king, anxious to see how each story ends, continues to let her live and tell her story.
The vizier’s daughter is using the king’s curiosity to prolong her own life. And that’s where the name One Thousand and One Nights comes from. She did this for 1001 nights before he actually fell in love with her and made her queen (Awwwwwh……)
Curiosity literally kept her alive.
Curiosity is one of the most powerful tools we have in communication. The ability to attract attention and drive curiosity are fundamental parts of showmanship and salesmanship.
In marketing and sales, they are tools that we can use in a noisy world to attract attention.
They are so powerful, in fact, they are often misused or overused by the wrong types of people. These are the “clickbait” ads we see floating around the web.
With great power comes great responsibility and using curiosity can give you great power in your messages.
Use curiosity responsibly.
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