“Stories bring us from one reality to another.” ~ Trinda Latherow
Since early childhood, I’ve loved the power of stories!
Through the years, stories have inspired my imagination and empowered me to grow. They’ve challenged me to step beyond current circumstances and reminded me to dream big — really big.
Here’s why I believe stories are powerful.
Most of us start life believing: we anticipate the creativity and magic of extension, expansion and surprise.
But, things soon change. As we mature, parents, teachers, institutions and even the media advise us that possibilities we’ve believed in do not exist in the “real world.”
Instead, we’re taught that the world is limited; that resources are scarce; and that only a rarefied few attain their dreams.
Such normative thinking dashes our hopes, dims our dreams and dooms us to repeat the same experiences – and problems – in a world that calls out for something better.
Ultimately, we succumb to conformity. We surrender inner inclinations and accept the notions, skepticism and static paradigms that belong to others. We stop leading and learn to follow.
During my formative years, I yearned for wisdom, leadership, adventure and personal vision. When unable to find them in my daily experience, I learned that stories provided some answers. Discovering a classroom library full of biographies, I entered into the lives of world changers and famous people from every background. Reading through the pages of their tales, I traveled through time, discovered different cultures, expanded my understanding and developed new ways to see the world.
In each story, I joined the main character, growing up amid their challenges, stumbling through their failures, enduring their personal dramas and finally overcoming circumstances in marvelous — and often unexpected — ways. Through story-based narratives, I learned how others surmounted odds, turned their losses into gain and brought their dreams to reality. These stories remind me today of the power of the human spirit.
At their best, good stories point to the greatness in us all and move us toward a happier future. They propel us to become innovators, inventors, creative artists, business leaders, statesmen and cultural change-makers. Individually and collectively, stories point us toward a more prosperous, harmonious and successful human race while reminding us to play our part in the process.
As an author, blogger, podcaster and speaker, I am now capitalizing on stories in my business and my vocation.
Rather than relying on statistics, information and lists of precepts, I use reflective questions and personal stories to bring people back to their dreams and imaginations. In doing so, I challenge rigid and thwarting beliefs while helping to energize the potential in others both in the U.S. and abroad.
The Power of Stories
Here are some of the reasons why I believe stories are so potent:
- They point to our inner truth.
- They remind us of our larger and more authentic self.
- They empower us to forge forward – even when circumstances and outward conditioning compel us to give up.
Over the years, I have learned that stories contain the common threads of the human experience. While listening to someone else’s story, we see ourselves in it, too. We inject the details of our own life into these tales, revisiting our personal beliefs and reconsidering our thought processes.
Unlike being told what to do or what to think, or being served a list of external commands that promise success, stories inspire from within. They carry the magic of inward possibilities that are waiting for manifestation.
Emerging from a good story, we find fresh thoughts that galvanize us with renewed confidence, resolve and expectation.
May you find those stories that speak powerfully to you.
Find a book, read a blog, listen to a podcast or watch a movie. And as you do, may you find the perfect story that inspires and empowers YOU!
Maura is a Speaker on Influence, Leadership and Emotional Intelligence
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