Stories are unbelievably powerful. Think about it. If you are a parent, it is a powerful story that drives your parenting – the story that you are an adoring, child-centered father or the story that you are a driven, ambitious woman committed to balance in work and in home life. A zillion tiny stories flow from that big story and the combination of those makes up your parenting experience, decisions, feelings and consequences of your interactions in the world around parenting.
Maybe your story is about you choosing not to parent, and the zillion stories that flow from that big one.
These stories are so powerful that we make huge, life-changing decisions based on these stories. This guy who slapped a crying child across the face in a Wal-Mart clearly had a story about whether children should be crying in Wal-Mart and another story about whether he should have to experience the crying as he did his shopping. I'm pretty sure having his mug splattered across the internet is changing his life in a variety of ways.
Stories drive our work, play, romance, spirituality, health.
We build our whole business on a story – and the flow of a zillion sub-stories from that one. Creating your business story is critical to your success and satisfaction. Your clients come to you because of the story you tell, possibly more than any other reason.
I had a friend who used to always say, “What if that wasn't true?” when I would proclaim some limiting situation. Or when I'd say, “I don't know” to something that was hard for me to answer, he'd simply ask, “Okay. And what if you did know?”
There is always another window into a situation – another possible and just as true story that could just as well be driving behavior. And when we shift focus to that new view, it's astonishing how the whole story changes, as though the first absolutely true story never really existed at all.
Is there anything you are believing right now that would be served by the question: “What if that wasn't true?” or “What if you did know?”
Often you'll find that there is a completely real and just-as-true truth in another story. Or, miraculously, when you imagine what you would know if you, in fact, did know – you realize that you do, actually, know.
It's magic, really.