Wednesday, December 31, 2008
I have always been a humble person who has never considered being better than anybody else. Because of this, for most of my life I ended up being modest about any interesting things I have done and not wanting to tell people about them. For example, I recently created a documentary film about my search for a specific train boxcar. I was fortunate enough to have this film accepted into some international film festivals this year. It is a unique story that many of my close friends are familiar with but those who I do not know at the same level usually do not hear me talking about the film and the story. In most cases, when the word ‘train’ comes up it is my friends who end up telling others about my story (I suppose it makes for an interesting conversation piece that they know people want to hear). When asked about the boxcar story I always try to downplay it by saying it is not that good, you wouldn’t like it and quickly try to change the topic of conversation. There are some who will not accept that I am trying to change topics or simply are too curious to know more and at that point I take a deep breath and allow the story to unfold. I secretly love to talk about my train story and it turns out people love to listen because I speak about it with passion from the heart.
I am not about to tell you the story because it really deserves a face-to-face conversation over coffee or tea (call me). My aim rather is to write about the importance of story-telling from another perspective (also see SUS Aug 18, 2008) for there is nothing wrong with talking about ourselves and the cool things we have done when it is done in a way that inspires people. You can be certain that if you speak from the heart about something you really love it will captivate any audience for people love hearing about other peoples passion. Story telling is a great way to inspire and help bring people along into a journey of wonder and belief in their own selves as well. Your story very well may parallel a story of theirs that needs to resurface. I have told my train story many times and it usually ends up with the listener telling me something of themselves that they probably have had archived in the memory vaults for years yearning to be re-lived once again. Every time a story gets told it invokes thought and this is a very powerful way to lift spirits and inspire others to believe they can. For all the times I talked about my story I have become better at it and less afraid to tell it. I am not boastful nor am I extremely modest. I have realized that we all have stories and our stories want to be heard by people. What stories do you have that have been in the vault for too long gathering dust?
The train story I speak of still gets told but I recognize that it is a passing chapter and I am excited about telling the next chapters I am currently writing. I speak in a figurative sense where each chapter represents a phase of our lives. We cannot and should not always do the same thing in life, telling the same chapter for this hinders our personal growth and at the same time makes the audience bored. I think of life as one great story made up of different chapters that represent the exciting new things we experience in our lives. What is important to understand is that it is not a new story we have to be writing but it is new chapters we should be writing. By writing new chapters we are always re-inventing ourselves and it is this personal re-invention that is exciting to both tell and hear about. We are not trying to change who we are as individuals as much as we are trying to be open to new things and continually being able to adapt or expand on our story that will make for a great book one day in the future - our own personal books some day written with all the great stuff we have done and it will be told to all to inspire and captivate.