This week has been exhausting. Actually, by Tuesday itself I was exhausted.
Today, I joined a call where a new team shaping up was doing an exercise to get to know each other better. The exercise was called Defining your moments.
Honestly, I didn't expect what I was going to experience. It was heartening.
The exercise entailed sharing the highs and lows of their life. Didn't specify whether personal or professional.
And then I could witness the glue that binds us all. Stories.
People started sharing their life stories. Some mentioned how tough it was to lose their parent early in their life or getting humbled with their failures or the positives of becoming parents themselves or the difficulties it brought at work due to bad managers or failed business ventures or just having to decide whether to use the limited financial ability for either managing food everyday or for medical treatment of a parent.
I was awed. Dumbstruck at times. Grateful at some moments.
People showed their vulnerable sides. They shared their experiences and the others listened to them with all attention and could relate to how their lives have been.
The listeners could empathise and feel the pain in the voice of the storyteller. They now understood what experiences have shaped these individuals they work with on a daily basis. I could sense that this team will have many friends at work in a few months time.
Such is the power of stories.
Everyone has a story. And everyone is a storyteller.
Imagine, you are on a plane on a long journey with a stranger on the next seat. What would you tell them if they asked you your story?
I would suggest write down your highs and lows. Articulate your story. Own it up.
Wear it like a badge of honour. Don't be ashamed of your experiences. No one has experienced it. No one has the right to judge you.
I can guarantee you one of the below will happen if you prepare your story and narrate it to people.
- You will become great at conversations.
- You will get interesting perspectives about your life experiences everytime you narrate it.
When you go out the next time or when you are talking to people you don't know much about, ask them their story. Again, one of the below will happen at the least.
- You will become a great listener
- You will learn a lot from others experiences and get new perspectives which will improve your thinking.
Just try it out. And share your story with me.
Read more about my story over here. It shares a chapter of my life.