Who doesn’t love a great story? Especially one that comes from the heart, stirs emotion, and lends inspiration or learning?
Storytelling is something we learned as children; stories of experience, adventure, or fairytales, always involving a journey and a life lesson. Isn’t it remarkable that, as we age, we learn the best lessons aren’t at the final destination of the journey, but during?
I use stories wherever possible in my work – whether direct conversations, classroom instruction, or during keynote speaking. Storytelling helps enforce a concept, creates a learning moment and can also be a means of inspiration – this also holds true in our personal lives.
What I’ve found is the best stories are not retold experiences of others, but instead the ones based on firsthand experience. Self-knowledge, experience, and wisdom are the best kinds of stories out there and at this stage in life, we all have plenty to share. Plenty that need to be shared about work and life with loved ones, colleagues, friends, community, and for that matter, the world.
But, how often do we really think about our own story? Our journey, our why, and how it can inspire and teach others in our lives personally and professionally? We’re often quick to diminish the value of our own stories because they get lost in comparison – but comparison is the thief of joy – remember that.
Remember, we made the final decisions in our journey (sure we may have been influenced by our supports – and thank God for them), but in the end, the journey truly is ours and we got here because of the decisions we made.
I recently came across a quote from Maria Shriver:
“You never know how your story might inspire another. Share what you wish, save some just for you, and always remember to keep adding chapters as you go along.”
So be your own heroine, write your story, and share your journey – especially the lessons learned, your failures, and successes. Why? Because we all have something to share and we never know how the tiniest of experiences can create a big impact in someone’s life. And…because we can!
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Feature photo: Tony Nardella