For as long as I can remember I have been fascinated with movies. It doesn’t usually matter what kind as long as there is a good story involved. Sometimes it doesn’t even have to be all that good as long as it is told well. I love stories.
What are your favorite stories? Do you like action? Adventure? Romance? Comedy? Tear jerker’s? What stories do you identify with?
Some of my favorite movies are those of epic proportions. Gladiator. Braveheart. The Matrix. These are the kind of stories where the main character is against great odds, but is able to fight through the opposition and achieve their task. Even if it costs them their life.
I also love stories where you can see characters grow. Finding Forrester. A Christmas Carole. Groundhog Day. The Legend of Bagger Vance. In each of these stories one of the characters is shown who they really are and are given a chance to step into a better future.
Story is very powerful stuff. It has the power to challenge us. Make us think. It shapes our perception about the life that we live. We relate to all of life like it is a story, because it is. You are the main character in your story just as I am the main character in mine.
This may be a new thought to many of you, your life as a story. But, if you think about it, it fits. How do we recount things to each other? In story. How would you feel if you asked someone about their day and they just started listing bullet points of what they had done. You would get the basics of what they had accomplished for the day, but would not know how all of it fit together in their life.
For instance: “John, how was work today?” “It was fine. Did some spreadsheets. Took some calls. Met a new coworker. Came home.” You get the gist of what John did for the day, but it doesn’t make you jump up and down to ask them the same question tomorrow.
Or this: “John, how was your day?” “It was a good day. Took me forever to get through some spreadsheets I was doing because Mark kept popping his head in my office wanting help on a project he is doing. I am a little swamped right now, but Mark is having some trouble at home and I was glad to help him. We also had a new lady start today. I think we really hit it off. She asked me for my number. We will see where it goes…”
The first was a list of facts. The second was the most of the same details put in the framework of story. The second was more interesting wasn’t it? You get details. You get insight on what John is thinking. You get to see his day through his eyes. Story draws us in. It helps us convey meaning to things that have happened.
Have you noticed this in your life? I know I have in mine. I enjoy being around people who tell stories and live exciting things. I want to tell a good story with my life as well. Looking at your life in this way can lead you away from a normal humdrum existence. We all want to be part of a good story. If you are living a story you wouldn’t want to read, then it may be time to start writing something different.
How would thinking of your life in terms of story benefit you?