Recently, I’ve been reminded about the importance of a good story.
As a writer, it’s embarrassing that I needed to be reminded!
Elise Mitchell of Mitchell Communications talked last night about the power of story to engage an audience to build a brand or company. This is true in PR, marketing, or life. In personal development, we are often told to mellow or drop our story in the interest of being in touch with our authentic self and the moment. While this is true, a good story in life can also inspire and guide us like a lighthouse on a stormy shore.
The analogy is fitting in more ways. We all encounter storms or challenges in our lives. The key is to keep our focus on the vision of where we want to go. The safe harbor, the company goal, or personal dream. This helps us navigate around, over or through the challenge instead of getting lost in it. It’s a fine art to be aware of the challenge while keeping our focus on the goal. Elise compared it to rounding a corner on a motorcycle. On a motorcycle the body and bike follow your eyes. If you keep focused on the pothole, then you hit the pothole! Much like life, we must keep our vision on where we want to go, not on our challenges.
This reminder was my wake up call. I’ve been overly focused on my challenges lately, forgetting the vision of where I want to go and why. Our why is absolutely key as the motivation for moving toward our dreams and goals. With a clear goal and strong motivation, we have the fuel to move forward. An engaging story enlists audience participation. A boring or overly drama filled story losses customers, audience, and sometimes friends. Too much drama is tiring. Yes, we all face challenges, but a good story is about how we overcome our challenges.
Thanks to Elise, I’ve been inspired to revisit and refine my vision or story. I’m calling it a story because I want it to have the elements of story; interesting plot, engaging characters, mystery, and triumph over challenge.
I’m crafting a new, improved story for my life. This story will be one of triumph of love and commitment over fear and challenge. The main character is dealing with several challenges, but remembering his dreams for more joy, proactive living, and meaningful relationships, he won’t get lost in a sea of despair and doubt. Financial losses become opportunities to earn more money, invest wisely, and protect those investments. Empty yards become opportunities to create lush gardens. Lonely days become opportunities to reach out, give, and love more. The ending is still uncertain, but the main character has been inspired to craft a better story. This story will be worth reading, and more importantly, worth living.
Tune in for next week’s chapter in Brad’s journey toward living fully with joy, passion, and purpose.
Thanks to all who have inspired and supported me.