Read time: 3 minutes
Stories connect us as human beings.
They inspire us. Make us cry. Motivate us.
We’re always looking for a good story and storyteller. Whether it be books, films, adverts, relationships, speeches.
The trouble is we listen to other peoples stories, hoping that it will inspire us, which is does, mostly.
But usually it fades and we revert back to old ways.
This week I’m going to touch on how you can be the author of your own story, to inspire yourself into action.
But first, story time.
Between the ages of 15-18, I was solely committed to becoming a professional cricketer.
The goal that I had at the time was to be physically stronger and fitter.
So regularly I would take myself out for runs in the evening.
My mum would catch me at the door while I was about to head out on the run.
And try to convince me to stay in the warm and dry.
I would then head out on my normal loop.
While I was out on the road, with time to think, I would begin to play a story in my mind.
A story that would inspire me. My story.
I would write a story, as if it were an article being written about me, in third person.
It would include, how I overcame my challenges to make it as a professional.
All the hard work that I put in, the training, the set backs, the wins, the losses, what I was doing when others weren’t watching.
The article would write how I would overcome potential neigh-sayers, obstacles or failures along the way.
What was all this doing?
I was creating a character that I wanted to become. Something that inspired me. Making it as real as possible.
Playing over as many scenarios as I could, and ask: “How would this character (me) act in that moment?”
I personally believe that this helped create the autonomy that was needed to go and get motivated towards my dreams.
Because I knew what the steps would be, but more importantly, how I would go about it.
Why do we do this? Again, stories inspire us. So nothing better to inspire yourself than your own story.
And while we listen or watch many stories of others. This one is in our control. We get to live it.
We get to write that story.
So how to do you start to build your own storyline?
Here’s 6 steps to consider:
1. Begin with the end in mind. 🏁
What is the end of this story (or chapter)? What is going to bring you happiness?
For me, it was turning professional.
There will be a new story (or chapter) after that that can be written. But you don’t have to write an entire life story. It could be a chapter to begin with.
The main point here is to focus on the end of the adventure to move towards to begin with.
2. What type of character are you creating? 👤
Here you begin to work backward from the ending to create the type of character that would achieve this journey.
How does this character talk? Walk? Are they hardworking? Kind? Humble? You get the idea.
3. What does this character do? 💪
Here you start to put some meat on the bones.
If your character is ‘hardworking’. Great. What does that look like?
What habits do they have? What do their routines look like?
Do they get up early and train? Late at night? Do they do more training?
Put together some of the actions that this character (you) takes.
4. What mentors/guides will help you? 👩🏻🏫
It’s worth noting who is going to help you. We all need support of some kind. Harry Potter had Hermione, Ron, Dumbledore.
Who do you currently have or who would you like to seek out in the future for support.
Who is going to help you get to where you want to be?
5. What does the path look like? 🗺️
Can you see the path you’d go on? What it may take to get through the path?
Realise that there will be an ‘ideal path’ that we take. But. And a BIG but. Life doesn’t always pan out like that.
So think of a story where there’s a challenge, a crucible moment in life, where tough decisions are needed.
How does your character deal with that?
6. What is the first step you can take? 🪜
The whole journey can seem daunting. So don’t ‘write’ the whole thing at first.
Just the first page. Whats the first step you can see yourself taking.
In reality, break it into manageable steps.
There we go, that’s it for this week.
Go write your story. Let it inspire you.
And I have no doubt that, if you make it a reality, it will inspire others.
So what happened to my story I was writing? Well, it came true.
Even so, the article that I wanted written, was written in the Guardian.
Think it. Write it. Do it.