Some of us like to tell a good story, some enjoy hearing a good story, and some of us appreciate both. And although there are a few people who seem to derive pleasure from a bad or negative story, I would say most people prefer a good story, maybe even a great story.
Every story usually has at least one primary theme and could also include a few subplots. Each story will have a central character and typically some supporting characters. Almost all great stories bring us on an adventure as we retell our own story or as we listen intently to the person sharing their own story. And isn’t it true that sometimes stories tend to get better each time we tell it? Well, maybe not better, but sometimes built up a little bit bigger or exaggerated slightly.
Are we more interested in telling our own tales? If the answer is yes, does that mean we may not be taking enough interest when others are sharing their story? A good storyteller is someone who can also listen and learn from the stories of others.
Good or great stories could be about something near and dear to our hearts as we reminisce about our memories of the people we have met or the places we have been. An inspirational story about achievement or overcoming an obstacle or challenge to accomplish a goal or fulfill a dream always makes for a good story too. For me, there is nothing like the comeback story. Whether it is a person or team competing and coming from behind to win, or an individual making a comeback after an injury or accident. As I listen to the story of work ethic and effort that they put into their recovery, I cannot help but become motivated by their discipline, determination, grit, and resiliency.
Hearing stories told by our grandparents, aunts and uncles, and longtime friends of the family can be amazing as we listen to tales of the past. Especially as seen from their eyes and what they may have experienced firsthand. All those victories and defeats, near misses, good times, bad times, hardships and opportunities, and all the laughs and tears along the way. Each in their own way makes for a good story.
My own grandfather was a fantastic storyteller. He captivated everyone’s attention who happened to be around him, whether he was telling a life story, a lesson learned, recounting a current event, or telling a joke. He had this knack for maintaining a little mystery and creating suspense with each tale told and with every punchline waiting to be delivered.
This is important because there is still much life to be lived. We will have mystery and suspense because we do not know what the future holds. The story we will share with others tomorrow will be different than the story we might have told today. New stories are being written each day. The narrative is being written by all of us as we continue to live our lives. We get to add to our stories based on what we strive to accomplish, through life’s journey, and by the people we meet along the way.
People love a good story. People are looking for a good story. And it makes me think of the Steven Spielberg quote, “The most amazing thing for me is that every single person who sees a movie, not necessarily one of my movies, brings a whole set of unique experiences, but through careful manipulation and good storytelling, you can get everybody to clap at the same time, to hopefully laugh at the same time, and to be afraid at the same time.”
How about you? Do you love a good story? Maybe even a great story? Do you prefer to tell the story or hear the story? I would love to hear all about your storytelling experiences at firstname.lastname@example.org. And maybe through some great storytelling, we can all clap at the same time, making this a better than good week.
Michael Norton is the grateful CEO of Tramazing.com, a personal and professional coach, and a consultant, trainer, encourager and motivator to businesses of all sizes.
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