A story is not a plan, nor a plan a story

We don’t know what that book or that project is like until we experience it, but we have to decide now, so we tell ourselves a story.*
(Seth Godin)

Successful brands have a great story long before they have a grand plan.**
(Bernadette Jiwa)

I read bedtime stories to help me go to sleep. The books I read in the morning are to help me live the day wide awake.

It’s how I get to my best stories, and it’s how I hope to help others get to their best stories – that is, with the help of others.

Thao Nguyen in her letter to young readers tells of how she didn’t like having to write book reports when she was at school, so, in the third grade, she wrote a rap song after reading Charlotte’s Web, and, in eighth grade, she wrote a song with guitar after reading Lord of the Flies. Nguyen is now a singer-songwriter which made me wonder where our books will take us:

Happy, happy trails going wherever books take you. May they inspire you to show your love and understanding however you will.^

We may have a plan for the day, the list of things we have to do – whether in work, rest or play – but we also need a story. Our stories will carry us to places and activities plans never will. They hold disparate information and inspirations and thoughts and possibilities that otherwise would remain separate or scattered, instead weaving these together into stories that just have to be lived every day.

(Of course, a story needs a plan, but a plan first needs a story. The doodle could also have said: In the story there is a beginning.)

(*From Seth Godin’s blog: And there’s a story at the heart of it.)
(**From Bernadette Jiwa’s The Story of Telling: Good Stories Drive Great Strategy.)
(^From Thao Nguyen’s letter to young readers in Maria Popova and Claudia Bedrick’s A Velocity of Being.)

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