With all this talk about living our lives so that it’s a story worth telling, I’ve been thinking lately…”Am I really telling my story?”
If we want to be great, authentic, world-shifting human beings and writers there are two simple steps we must take in order to be that: 1.) Write Our Stories, and 2.) Tell Our Stories.
And so we ask ourselves… What story am I telling with my life? What’s the story that brought me to where I am today? What about my story sets me apart? Am I telling my story in my writing? Is my story real and am I being real? What’s going to happen next in my story? Is my story even worthwhile?
These questions are all thought-provoking. I mean, don’t get me wrong, stories are great. I love to tell them. I love to hear them. I love to cry and reflect at sad ones, and laugh and slap my knees at funny ones. Who doesn’t like a good, well-told, well-acted story?
And there are a lot of great story tellers out there too:
I spend a lot of time being inspired by the impossible stories of renaissance men and women like Joel Runyon and Emilie Wapnick, the risky trials of Tyler Tervooren and Lach Lancotter, the inspiring life outlooks of Srinivas Rao and Tessa Zeng, the adventurous travels of Erica and Shaun and Nick Laborde, the entrepreneurial prowess of Collin Vine and Mars Dorian. I could go on forever here!
I love their stories. I love their outlook on life. I love how they inspire myself and others to not just be more inspired, but to do what is within us to inspire others as well. They push me to turn my life into a story worth telling.
SO, WHAT’S MY STORY?
But when it comes to telling my own story, I’ve always been hesitant to share it. Not because I’m some sort of freakaleak with skeletons in my closet, but more so because I don’t really like to talk about myself. I guess you could say I’m more of a listener than a teller.
I’d like to change though. And while I plan to remain a wonderful, dedicated listener, I know I have so much more to add to the conversation.
And so I originally thought I’d write this post and share a tiny part of one the stories I’ve written for myself over the past twenty-three years of my life in this wild world. I thought I’d tell you about something that has totally changed my life. Something profound and majestic. Something a mover and a shaker and a world changer would do. Some sort of riskology case study, impossible turned possible accomplishment, trailblazing, nonconforming decision and action and result.
Yet, for some reason, as I write this, and it’s now time to tell my story, all I can think about are these little12 year-old kids I taught for a week back when I was living in Beijing last year. I was teaching them what the word “aspiration” meant by asking them to share with the class what they aspired to do and be when they grow up.
Each of them answered proudly something along the lines of, “I aspire to be the rich and live a mansion” or “I aspire to own a big company that makes lots and lots of money” or “I aspire to be a millionaire”.
My heart began to sink as I wondered what happened to the kids who used to aspire to be the police officers and firefighters, the animal and planet savers, the teachers and doctors, and the world leaders that my classmates had for answers when I was a kid.
And then there was one girl who on her turn stood up and said, “I aspire to help people and make the world better place.”
I thought, when she grows up she’s going to be an inspiring, world changing woman with a story to tell.
Because that’s what that little girl and all those wonderful people I listed above are doing with their stories… In their own, unique, individual way they’re chasing after their aspirations, and in doing so they are moving this world and shaking this world and changing this world for the better.
And that’s what I want to do with my story too. That’s what I am doing. That’s what I won’t stop doing.
That’s my story. Well, so far. : – )