TELL A COMPELLING STORY
Decide What Stories to Tell
Think about your life for a
What are your core values? What
is the one message you would want to share with this
world on your death bed? Who are you, really? What do
you stand for? For what or for whom would you fight?
What wrongs would you right? What truths would you
spread or inequities would you rectify?
Ponder these questions, and come
up with your own answers. The answers you come up with
will form the basis of your story, the story you will
bring to life, and this will help you begin your part in
making this world better as a result of your existence.
Once you have an idea as to what
your core messages are, even if there is only one, then
you can decide which stories to tell to support your
What events have transpired that
make you who you are today? What people have influenced
your character, sense of morality, justice or
spirituality? What challenges have you overcome? What
adversaries have you claimed victory over? What
adversaries have claimed victory over you?
These questions will help you to
reflect on your life and to extract events from your
memory bank that are worth sharing with the world.
No matter how old you are, or how
uneventful you believe your life has been, there are
events that have unfolded that make you who you really
are. Those are the events youíre looking for. Those are
the events that can shape the lives of others, because
theyíve shaped your life.
When you share significant events
from your life, magic often happens. When someone that
has heard your presentation is reflecting on the same
questions as you did, their encounter with you becomes a
transforming event in their life.
Many of us dismiss our past as
boring or insignificant, but thatís just not true! Your
life is like a string of pearls, consecutive magnificent
events that created the person you are today. Explore
each one of those pearls and find the magic.
In the spring of 2010, I was
reading a post someone had placed on LinkedIn. The post
was a comment from someone who had just taken the train
from Toronto to Ottawa, a journey of about five hours or
so. She noticed that the lady seated directly in front
of her did nothing to occupy her time during the entire
trip. She didnít read anything and she didnít use a
laptop or a blackberry, nor did she listen to music. She
had no crossword puzzle or a game of any kind. She just
sat and stared out the window for the entire trip.
The person who posted the message
simply thought it was weird that anyone could travel for
five hours and not have anything to do for the duration
of the trip. Her comment was a little judgmental,
seeming to express her disapproval of this behavior.
It left me feeling sad that many
of us have reached the point where we canít seem to be
alone with our own thoughts anymore. We seem to always
need some kind of input coursing into our brain in order
to pass the time.
When I travel, I rejoice in any
alone time I get to sneak in. I get lost in thought; I
recall happy memories and hone my creative processes. If
I had been on that train, I would have marveled at how
this lady just sat there quietly for five hours. Who
knows what magnificent ideas and memories were floating
around in her brain?
When we constantly pump our brain
full of someone elseís creative output, we leave no room
for our own.
Iím not suggesting that we never
listen to music, or read books, or play games. Iím
simply suggesting that unless we learn to be still and
reflect on life, we stifle our creativity and we miss
precious lessons that the events of our life have taught
So, whatís the lesson? Be still,
reflect on the events of your life and find your stories
in that silence.