The stories the speakers told were amazing and challenging.
I found myself feeling glad and guilty at the same time, admiring and resentful, and the question in my head: “So, what are you doing?”
There’re stories we tell ourselves which can stir up the mess from the past we carry around: we’re stifled, suffocated, even paralysed by this. I found myself reflecting on what I was experiencing.
‘Why are stories this way instead of all the other ways they could be? I think that problem structure reveals a major function of storytelling. It suggests that the human mind was shaped for story, so that it could be shaped by story.’*
We’re both immersed in stories and producers of stories. To put it another way, stories happen to us and we make stories happen. This is a creative, generative tension of the life we find ourselves in. Because there are so many stories coming at us, we need to become masterful tellers of our own story.
On the one hand, Dan Ariely iterates how we’re comparison creatures, ‘always looking at things around us in relation to others.’** On the other hand, we’re capable of doing, making, or living something which is incomparable:
‘Art is a leap into the void, a chance to give birth to your genius and make magic whether was no magic before.’^
If I know my own story then I can be open to the stories of others, not being submerged beneath them, but receiving them as gifts to inform my story through their challenge and inquiry.
Dave Logan, John King, and Halee Fischer-Wright identify “tribes” of people they find in the workplace, each having a mantra: Life sucks, My life sucks, I’m great, We’re great, Life is great. Each of these is a story people are telling themselves. The authors believe we can move from one experience to another, we can move from story to better story.^^
As I the speakers and their stories, I couldn’t help but think people are amazing.
(*From Jonathan Gottschall’s The Storytelling Animal.)
(**From Dan Ariely’s Predictably Irrational.)
(^From Seth Godin’s The Icarus Deception.)
(Tribal Leadership by Dave Logan, John King, and Halee Fischer-Wright.)