Reflection: What’s your story? Everybody’s got one, or two, or three…or an endless supply!
For twenty years now, I’ve been writing a weekly column (13 years of Pause e-zines, and before that, 7 years of newspaper columns). Readers often ask me two questions, “Where do you get your inspiration, and aren’t you afraid of running out of ideas?” The answers to those two questions are, “Everywhere and No.”
Having an audience, a deadline, and an outlet keeps me noticing and tuned in to my surroundings. Material lives everywhere. Clients share problems, and program attendees ask questions. Ideas pop up as I browse the web, or leaf through books, newspapers and magazines.
But most importantly, things happen. Over the years, I’ve developed the habit of paying attention to everyday events as they unfold, and asking myself, ‘So What?’
Many of life’s experiences carry a bundle of insights and lessons. They’re accessible to all, if we pause to register the experience and mine the meaning.
You may not have a desire to write, or a platform from which to expound, so why would this matter to you? Because learning as we go creates a richer life experience. Because harvesting lessons on the fly keeps us from making the same mistakes over and over. And, because sharing the lessons brought by life’s experiences, gives us a way to mentor and encourage others – and remind ourselves.
The emotional tug of a great story makes a learning point more relatable and impactful. This is why organizations share stories of great customer service with their staff and clientele, and why they invest in building the storytelling skills of their leaders. This is why Aesop’s Fables and other stories have such a long shelf-life.
Memorable stories move people to thought and action – where mind-numbing lectures, endless statistics and tedious objectives fall short.
Action: Here are a handful of ways to improve your story finding and mining skills: Read More…
This post was written by Pat Katz on February 20, 2013