When I sit down to tell my 2 year old a story, her eyes just light up. Within a minute, she is deeply immersed in the story. She listens to the story like she is listening to it for the first time … every time …
What is it about stories and little kids, I wonder?
pic by KoAn La Scrivana
And then it happens with ME too …
I am incredibly happy with my life these days. But even in the saddest of times, my tears roll down for someone else …when I read or watch a story about somebody else’s life. (Like when I watched the video on Lance’s post yesterday). Happy feelings too – like I felt incredibly special when I read this poem by Lucas Bright at Writer Dad’s blog. And then Eric’s guest post at Zenhabits brought back some memories of my own and filled me with a sense of gratitude for my life.
Time and again, the best bloggers will tell you share your stories on your blog. Entrepreneurs will tell you to give your story when you pitch an idea or you want to make a connection. Penelope Trunk angers a lot of her readers time and again, but then she also writes posts like this one and this. I disagree with her vehemently over and over again but then I love her a lot.
Why do stories work?
- Stories have nothing to do with me: Why do stories that have absolutely nothing to do with me or my life make such a big impact on me? The answer is hidden in that question. When a story has nothing to do with me but is intense and engrossing, I insert myself in the story and come alive. I come alive and then flow along. I flow along and then start to feel. I feel the story and then I feel the story of my life. It is a beautiful process and it works – once, twice, every time. That is why I love stories. I figure that is why my 2 year old loves stories.
- Stories evoke emotions: We all build walls to protect ourselves from emotional abuse. We are all very guarded when it comes to feeling emotional about our own lives. No so when it comes to another person’s life, right? We can shed a tear and not feel weak. We can be moved and not seem emotional.
- Stories are stories: When we listen to stories, we rarely question it’s authenticity. When we start to read a story, little facts seem to matter … but rarely do they matter after a certain point. Real or fictitious, a story always has real effects on us, never fictitious.
- Stories are the best way to get you back to a “feeling” or a “state of mind”: When we feel certain negative or unwanted feelings, emotions or fears, it is not easy to just shoo them away. Stories are great in that they transport us away so gently into a different world, where we can “feel” the right things without thinking as much about feeling the right things. (Complicated sentence there, sorry!)
Should I tell my story?
The whole point of this post is to try and convince everyone that we all need to find our stories. We then need to tell our stories. Tell our stories to ourselves and to the people in our lives. To our employers and to our friends. To the VC’s and to our kids.
Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. Everyone has skills. Everyone has goals and ambitions. Everyone has plans for success. Everyone has had their share of struggles. So what is the big deal? Right? The big deal is the story that connects the dots. The story that brings all of the strengths, weaknesses, skills, goals, ambitions, plans and every crap under the sun together in a unique way and tells your special story. None of the adjectives in the story are unique, but somehow, almost magically, the story is special, very unique and only yours. This is what Naomi Dunford does. Read her story here and then come back and tell me if it did not do something to you.
So, go deep into yourselves and find your story. I urge you. And then, go out into the world and tell your story. Tell yourself your story every day, every single day. Believe in yourself and stay true to your story. Never ever forget your story. It is who you are. It is who you will always be. Special. Like Lucas Bright
We all have plenty of stories. What is your story? How has telling others and yourself your story changed your life?
What is my story?
I will come back and share my story in my next post here. If you have read my earlier posts, you already know some of my stories.
Authentic Business Discovery
For now, I would like to take some time to talk about Tom Volkar’s Business Discovery Class that I participated in a couple of weeks ago. I am working on my internet based startup (details will be in the upcoming story) and was curious to see what the class would offer. The class was a wonderful experience! When I sat back and thought about what the class really gave me, I came up with this post. The class helped me find my story and tell my story
I have to say the journey was amazing. And it was not much unlike some of the most satisfying experiences in our lives – we do most of the work and we gain most of the satisfaction – only someone really cool(read Tom) steers us ever so lightly in the right direction, nudging us back on to our paths. In essence, this class was a wonderful journey, a refreshing experience and loads of hard work. In a week’s time, my journey involved traveling inwards and outwards, back in time and ahead into the years that will follow. It gave me my story. Honestly, the class taught me very little I did not know, but what it really did was establish the vital connections – between my past and my future, between my values and my desires, between my dreams and the action steps required to fulfill them. Looking back, the connections are a key part of understanding ourselves. There will be plenty of times when I will be unsure, when I will question my past decisions and the future path I have laid out for myself, but understanding those connections will help me “reboot” myself and get focused.
Tom is a great guy. He is very experienced in his field. He gets involved without getting in your face. He makes you work hard and asks the right questions. And if you push him like I did, he gives you lots of tools to get to your goal. He is great at customizing his class and taking feedback too.This is a great class if you are trying to jump into doing something on your own. Do feel free to contact me if you would like to know more.
For now, I look forward to hearing your stories. What makes you who you are today? What is it you love about your life and why? Is there something about yourself you will never ever change?
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