At the start of my workshops I usually hear something like, ‘I don’t have any stories because I’m just normal’. This is quickly followed by, ‘Where do you find your stories?’ So, in this chapter we are going to spend some time exploring a variety of ways you can find your stories.
Everyone has stories, regardless of what you do, who you are or how ‘normal’ you think you are. In fact, the ‘normal’ stories can often be the most effective. Once you learn how to uncover your stories, you will also discover that you have lots of them — way more than you ever thought possible.
Have you ever been at the beach and seen someone with a metal detector? They walk along, waving the detector over the sand to uncover what is hidden just below the surface. Finding stories you can share is very similar. Most of your stories may not be visible at first but are waiting just below the surface of your memory.
One way to find your stories is to literally do a brain dump of all the significant things that have happened in your life. When I say ‘significant’, I don’t mean they have to be major, life-changing events or sliding-door moments. You certainly want to capture these major stories but don’t ignore the simple or ordinary life experiences that you have collected across your lifetime. These can be significant too.
The key to good stories is having a variety of them, which includes a combination of work- and non-work-related memories and events. You also ...