I like stories and enjoy digesting those insights. If there is a pop-culture author of DIY books, chances are I’ve read their book, watched their videos or heard their podcasts.
While I admire how-to wisdom and deep-dive analysis of what we do and why we do it, some reveal insights on what we are afraid of, why we don’t do things and how invisible obstacles represent roadblocks or prison walls to our ambitions and creativity.
To be an open book, we need to be the book, to write the book.
For most coaches and counsellors – their job, their passion, is for helping others excel. What I find lacking there, or simply missing, is that they’ve not done it themselves.
They are telling other people’s stories. Don’t get me wrong, I listen intently; and I’m still a Malcolm Gladwell fan, for example, because I find his revelations of obscure stories fascinating and his ability to tell those stories riveting. Yet, none of his books are about what he has done. I feel I’ll learn more from first-hand lessons of people who’ve done great things. I want to know how they did it, but also in their words. Why did they do it, how did they stay focused, what was their goal, and what was the driving force that got them to the top of their field or their private mountain peak to scale?
I was reminded of this anew the other day when Dick Meyers commented on my column – about telling our own story. That’s what I’m getting at here, in part because I’ve found value in telling my stories, and sometimes that’s cathartic. When I read stories, I want to feel I’m hearing/reading someone’s first-hand accounts …
I want to hear the story from the athlete, not from their coach. I want to hear from the playwright, not the drama teacher, from the innovator rather than the economist/analyst. If we want to know more, learn more and do more.