Our brains are actually hard wired to relate to other people’s experiences. When we witness or imagine someone acting, our own neurons fire in the same way they would if we were undertaking the same action. That’s why your heart races when your favorite athlete soars toward the football or you feel fear and sorrow watching a mother struggling to save her child from flood waters.
When we translate that empathy into helping another person, we have another reaction in our brains: We’re rewarded with happy feelings, thanks to a chemical dose to our brain’s pleasure center. I like to imagine (and there is some evidence) that the human race is somehow designed to commit to each other and accomplish great things in concert. I’ll give you an example. Watch this video and think about how you feel. It makes me happier – and kinder.
In this ad, Coke has connected to these deep rewards of generosity. The purpose of this post is to ask, if Coke is doing it, why the heck aren’t you? Why aren’t you making people as happy as you could by making visible the acts of kindness that you commit every day, all day, at work? You can and should awaken these feelings in the people you want to move to action. It’s not manipulation. It’s being human.
Please think about this clip and how your cause could be its star. The next time you send something a message out to the world, make sure:
1. It tells a vivid story of someone doing good
2. It shows the reaction of the person helped
3. It inspires the rest of us to do the same
This is the incredibly simple, science-driven way to connect and compel. And Coke shouldn’t be the only one doing it.
You can and should, too.