Your Skull’s Fourth Wall

Do you ever wonder why it feels like you are the only sane person in the world?

Adrian Hanft
2 min readAug 20, 2016

Inside your skull a movie is playing. You, obviously, are the hero in this movie. You narrate as a cast of characters play the supporting roles of friends and family, misfits and villains. You call this movie reality.

Your movie is different from mine. No better or worse, you just have a different director calling the shots. Everyone’s different movies interact with each other oblivious to the existence of what is playing on the screens next door. Most realities don’t leave room for the existence of alternative genres.

This is what makes you miserable. To advance the plot in your movie, you have to continually rationalize the strange behavior of terrible actors. How common is dialog like…

“I thought you were my friend.”

“How could you possibly think that was a good idea.”

“Why haven’t they fired him yet?”

“I just don’t understand how…”

“This is completely insane.”

Lines like this are evidence of incompatible realities/movies bumping into each other. This is why each of us feels like the only sane person in the asylum.

As a result, you can’t get over the fact that your brother can support candidate X. In your movie, candidate X is a villain. This fact is your reality, as real as the White House. Your inner casting director has no choice but to assign your brother the role of an unenlightened idiot or brainwashed radical.

I want you to make an edit to your mental movie. As the hero in your movie you now have a new super power. Starting today, you have the ability to see the movies playing in other people’s heads. You can enter their movies at will as a supporting cast member. Break your fourth wall.

Recognizing the movies playing out in other people’s heads lets you achieve things you never thought possible. Stepping inside someone else’s theater allows you to influence their decisions and motivations. Help them become the hero they see themselves as. This is how you will change the world.

Thanks for reading. Is your movie the type of film where you recommend stories like this on Twitter? I hope so. Stay creative.



Adrian Hanft

Author of User Zero: Inside the Tool that is Reshaping Dystopia