If I had a dime for every time someone told me they don’t have a story.
If I had a penny for the times that people say, no one wants to hear my story, it’s nothing special.
Just a few months ago, I was visiting a corporate client.
She was really enthusiastic, telling me about a lecture the whole department had been to. They’d brought in a motivational speaker. He was a pilot who had been involved in a terrible accident. He had nearly died but made a miraculous recovery and had gone on to the greatest achievements you could imagine.
She was in admiration and absolute awe of this incredible person.
And I have to admit, I love these kinds of stories. They’re powerful, motivating and awe-inspiring. And so very rare.
Here’s the thing though. Another effect of this kind of motivation talk is for the listener to think, gosh, I could never do something like that. For a start I’m not a pilot. And even if I were, I’d probably never survive or achieve the way he did, following the accident.
And of course, on the scale of things, so very few people actually have these life-changing, super-dramatic events happen to them.
Most of us have more ordinary life experiences, more recognizable challenges, more humble achievements.
The mistake (the crime actually!) is when you believe that this is not story worthy. That no one would be interested in this kind of story.
The normal everyday stories are the most inspiring of all.
You see it is these normal everyday stories that help us recognize ourselves.
There are no new stories, no new struggles, no new experiences. And when we hear of an experience that we can relate to, whether it’s a challenge or a triumph, we no longer feel alone.
There is a basic human desire to tell of our experiences. When this telling is reciprocated because it is recognized, we feel connected. When we feel connected we feel seen and heard, it gives us meaning and a place in the world.
And that is a matter of life and death.
So you see you do have a story. It’s really important that you tell it. And it’s much more interesting and compelling than you think.
We all have stories.
The story of our struggle, our pain and our frustration.
The story of our love, our passion and our joy.
It’s not always dramatic.
But it is always moving.
Always beautiful .
And above all, always worth telling.
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