"Suspension of disbelief" is a strange phrase.
It was coined by the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
It describes a state of mind required to appreciate imaginative works of literature or drama.
One which temporarily accepts the experience as possible.
And so we shudder when the magician saws the woman in half.
And cry our eyes out at the end of Toy Story 3.
We willingly turn off our skeptical thinking mind.
And we allow our feeling mind to be immersed in the story.
So long as it maintains internal consistency.
And the characters behave in an expected fashion.
The story doesn't have to be realistic.
But it must be "believable."
The same is true of our own stories.
And that's why we have a problem breaking out of our ruts.
We've created a narrative for ourselves.
One that expects certain behavior.
Behavior that's consistent with our past.
And so we find it difficult to suspend disbelief.
To believe in possibility.
"I'm not very creative," we tell our self.
"So I certainly can't write a novel."
"I'm insecure," we think.
"So why speak up? No one will listen to me."
"I'm a working class stiff," we acknowledge.
"I'd never make it on my own."
Suspension of disbelief is essential for any kind of storytelling.
The audience must see and feel the evolving narrative.
Despite the limitations of the medium.
But it's also necessary for the creation of an exciting and meaningful life.
Despite the limitations of our medium.
Our repressed self-image.
Whether or not you're aware of it, your life is an imaginative production, a work of art.
One that you write, direct, and edit.
And in which you play the leading role.
So suspend disbelief in 2014.
Forget about foolish consistency, that "hobgoblin of little minds."
And create a better story for you and for others.
And one last thing.
No one will come out and tell you this.
But they're enlivened by your daring and passion.
Your exciting story encourages them to believe in one of their own.