“A human being is nothing
but a story with a skin around it.”
– Fred Allen
Genghis Khan. Cleopatra. Thomas Edison. George Washington. Henry Ford. Steve Jobs. Ayn Rand. Ronald Reagan.
The list could go on and on.
With each of these people, what do you think of when you hear their names?
Chances are when you read each name, something popped into your mind.
It could be good. It could be bad. It could be about one specific moment in their lives. Or it could be the time period in which they lived.
But no matter what your first impression was, no matter what “characteristic” popped into your mind, it was all based around one thing:
Each of these people lived their life on purpose.
They did what they had to do each day, and they made the best of each situation as it was presented to them.
There were days of clarity; days of challenge. There were days they wondered what they were doing; there were days they understood exactly what to do. There were days they celebrated; there were days they fell.
Yep, they were all just people living life one day at a time, taking the good with the bad. And always waking up the next morning and deciding to do one more thing to move them forward.
Each of these people have one thing in common.
They didn’t know they were creating the story each day of their lives – that came later. But for each of them, every step they took, every journey they found themselves on helped create the path that led them to personal success.
And as such they became a part of our lives too.
It’s not the name that makes them famous. It’s the person they became.
It’s not the life they lived. It’s the story that was created in the process.
Take Steve Jobs for instance. He’s famous. He’s an inventor. The world wouldn’t be the same without Apple. But that’s only a fraction of his allure.
With a person like Steve, we want to know more. What made him tick? How could he foresee what he did? How could he have his insight? What made him special?
Books are written about him. Movies are created about him.
And all of it is to dive into who Steve was and the story that unfolded around him during his lifetime.
His story adds to our story. Without him, we wouldn’t have any of his influence.
Stories are important.
But where most people get it wrong is they assume only the great supply the stories of the world.
It’s not just the famous that have stories to tell. Every single person alive has a story – you read about them all the time on your favorite news site. The 15 year old girl who raises $10,000 for charity because she felt a need when she heard something in the news. Or the 30 year old single mom who started her business as a way to pull herself out of being homeless and needing food stamps.
Your story matters.
It might not be on the scale of Steve Jobs. But it doesn’t have to be. When you do what you’re supposed to do, you matter to the people that follow you. The people that need you. The people that will thrive on what you supply.
When you get people writing to you like this:
“I didn’t know where to turn. I knew I had something inside that was trying to make its way out. I had an idea, but I didn’t feel like I had anyone around me to support me. So it sat there as my dream. And then I found you. Your words encouraged me. Your ideas gave me strength. And today I’m starting to make my dreams a reality. Yes, its caused chaos around me – some of my friends and family don’t support what I’m doing. But that’s okay. You’ve inspired be to move forward and I know I’ll never be the same.”
You know your story matters.