The long weekend and the several days of suspended class has given me a lot of extra time and has allowed me to really sit back and relax.
I know that there are lots of Filipinos suffering out there because of the heavy rain and I pray for their safety but in a way, I am thankful to God for the suspension of classes the last few days for it has really given me a chance to slow down and take a break from the speedy roller coaster pace of my Senior Year.
During these last few days, I was actually able to find time to do things I enjoy doing that I haven’t really been able to do because of my hectic Senior Year schedule. I was able to watch a few episodes of my favorite television series, “How I Met Your Mother (HIMYM),” and just the other day, I was also able finish two books that I’ve always wanted to finish reading, “Contagious,” by Jonah Berger and “For One More Day,” by Mitch Albom.
After reading the book Contagious, which basically analyzes several different products and explains why something catch on and why others don’t, I couldn’t help but think about why “How I Met Your Mother,” became such a popular show and has lasted for such a long time (imagine that, HIMYM already has 9 seasons of 24 episodes each). I also used my new found knowledge to analyze why “For One More Day,” and several other books of Mitch Albom (who is quite frankly my favorite author) has become best sellers and has been sold to millions of people.
There are many different factors as to why things spread quickly and become contagious but I’d like to focus on a few factors that are seen in both the HIMYM series and the book, For One More Day.
The Power of Stories – People love hearing, watching and reading stories. People love it even more when these stories are stories they can relate to. This is something very true for HIMYM and For One More Day.
Most people if not everyone can relate to at least one of the characters in HIMYM. The diverse personalities of the 5 main characters helps the series cater to a wider audience. Aside from that, everyone has relationships in their lives and they want to see how other people deal with certain situations and HIMYM is able to do this while at the same time packaging in a light, entertaining and humorous way.
The numerous failed relationships of Ted and all the hardships he has to go through is something a lot of people are able to relate to because of the fact that life isn’t perfect. The producers were really smart in making Ted as human as possible for it allows people to fully relate to his experiences and this leads to viewers become patrons who look forward to every episode.
For One More Day, just like HIMYM, tells a compelling story that focuses on life, love and relationships. The story focuses on getting one more day, one more chance to fix a wrong that you did in your life. This is something everyone can relate to for I am pretty sure every single one of us has that day that we want to go back to, that day we want to change.
2. Practical Value and Lessons – People love things that have practical value or something that they can immediately translate to their everyday life
People like watching HIMYM because believe it or not, every episode of HIMYM has a silver lining, a lesson about life and relationships that the viewer can take away and apply to his or her life.
For instance, the countless of failed relationships of Ted shows us that somethings just aren’t meant to be. We can’t rush life and force things to go our way. Life isn’t perfect but things eventually work out for the better. (And yes, just like you, I can’t wait to see who the Mother is and how it worked out for Ted!!!)
Just like HIMYM, For One More Day also teaches one the importance of valuing relationships and why we should never take the people around us for granted. It also emphasizes the importance of keeping people close to you so that you have someone to talk to during your darkest moments.
Both stories give practical values and lessons that get people talking about the stories even after watching or reading them.
3. Social Currency – People love things that other people love but where does everything start? It starts from the first two points, when something is a good story and has practical value, people tend to share it with others because it makes them feel in the know. People also inherently want to share something useful or interesting to others. People simply won’t talk about things or recommend things that don’t have any value or interesting story behind it.
This creates a cycle of people passing it on. This is why “How I Met Your Mother,” is one of the most famous television series today and is going strong as it enters its 9th season. This is why “For One More Day,” has become an international bestseller and was even turned into a movie.
Tying all the three together, we can see the importance of relationships in our daily lives. HIMYM shows us the importance staying close to a small group of friends for even when times are hard, even when you face break-ups, those few true friends will always be there for you. For One More Day takes this to another level by emphasizing the fact that we should value the people we love for they can be taken away from us in an instant.
Finally, in the book Contagious, we see the underlying premise as to why things catch on. Things become viral because people share it and why do people share it? The number one reason is that they wanted to improve their relationship with others by sharing compelling stories that others can relate to and learn from.
It’s really amazing how much we can learn from these types of things as long as we are willing to dig deeper and look for the silver lining. A lot of people, these days are passive viewers or readers. They just sit down and take in information without processing it. For most, watching HIMYM is a way to kill time or get a good laugh, but underneath the wackiness of Ted and cockiness of Barney are lessons and values we can apply to our daily lives.
Now you know how “How I Met Your Mother” became “Contagious” “For One More Day!”
PS. I hope you try reading books by Mitch Albom! After reading two of Mitch Albom’s books, namely Tuesdays With Morrie and For One More Day, he has become one of my favorite authors because he is able to tell stories that simply make you feel emotions that you’ve never felt before. Trust me, after reading one of his books, you will never see life the same way again! To learn more about him and the books he has written check out his website: mitchalbom.com