The importance of story

Stories and StorytellingI love a good story.

I love to read a good story and I love to create stories…although they may not always be “good.:)

In fact, I love a good story so much that I’m researching the topic of stories and storytelling as a mechanism for knowledge capture & transfer within project teams.  See a presentation I did on that subject here -> Stories, Projects & Knowledge Management.’s another article of mine on Using Stories to Share Knowledge.

Stories have a ton of good qualities. They help set context.  They help share values and beliefs.   There are lots of good things about stories.

But the most important is one that we often overlook.  It’s the importance of YOUR story to your life.

Chris Brogan pointed me toward Donald Miller’s A Million Miles in a Thousand Years (affiliate link) a few months ago.

Chris recently said the following about Miller’s book: “It’s about the importance of living your life as if you’re the main character in an important story.

He hit it spot on.  This is a wonderful book.  Not only did it make me laugh, it made me think long and hard about MY story.  And about YOUR story too.

What’s my story?

I used to think that my story was one of small town farmboy who makes a name for himself in the big city.  I was going to work hard and climb the corporate ladder and become the CEO of a large organization one day.

But…as I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to realize that my story is changing.

I no longer want anything to do with being employed by a large organization. I’d rather be a part of  small group of people doing something fun and important.

My story has evolved and I’m evolving with it.  I’m longer interested in the office politics that some people play. I’m more interested in finding that smart group of people who want to do something fun and challenging.  Those folks that see that things CAN be different.

My story has evolved from one of perpetuating the ‘sameness’ that is corporate America to one that of wanting to be a part of (and perhaps starting) a small business.

My story includes me working hard and playing hard.   It includes my wife and I spending more quality time together traveling and actually engaging in our passion of photography rather than wishing we could.

My story isn’t the classic American Story, but I think its one that will become the neo-classical American Story.

I think people are getting fed-up with the large, bureaucratic environment found in most large busiensses. Those businesses that look at the numbers before they look at the people.

That said, my story is my story and I’m living it as though I’m the lead character.  My story is one of hundreds of millions in this country, but its an important one to me.

What’s your story?

I look out at the people I interact with on a regular basis and realize that, for the most part, I don’t really know their story.

I have almost 1400 followers on twitter but i really only know less than 20 of them. On Facebook, I’ve kept my friends to those that I know fairly well but there are still folks who I don’t really know what well.

This blog receives about 6000 visitors a month and has ~1800 RSS subscribers but I don’t know the story of every one of these visitors or subscribers.

Of course, there’s no way for me to know everyone, but I do get curious about what drives people to my site and why they decide to come back (or subscribe).

I’m always interested in hearing your story so drop a line and let me know what you are working on and/or where I can learn more about you.

The Importance of Story

As I’ve said, story is important.   Not only does your story help define who you are, it helps define were you’ll go.

Based on this post and the little bit of background I’ve provided, can you tell where I’m headed in life?  Do you know the next chapter in my story?

Do you know they next chapter in your own story?  Are you writing your own story or letting someone else?

Me – I prefer to write my own…and hope to continue doing for the rest of my life.

BTW – if you DO know the next chapter of my story, don’t tell me 🙂