“I have a picture of myself from when I was about 2 years old. It shows me with a bowed head and stooped shoulders, in despair, peering through sad eyes that wondered what I was doing in this world. . .” —Shirzad Charmine
A surprising quote from a bestselling book titled, “Positive Intelligence,” wouldn’t you think? If you look between the lines and in the shadows of his book, you realize Shirzad is telling his own story, even though he only shares tiny slivers here and there.
The most powerful thing about you is your story. But don’t talk about yourself all the time; you’ll be a bore.
Ineffective storytellers say:
1. See how great I …
2. See how much better I …
3. See what I’ve …
I asked Shirzad how and when he decides to share his story.
He responded, “I don’t tell my story when … "
1. I’m worried about how I look.
2. I’m trying to be impressive.
3. I’m thinking, ‘Look how cool I am.’
Shirzad continued, “My ‘saboteurs’ are talking when I’m focused on protecting and serving me, exclusively.” (List of saboteurs)
He chooses to tell his story when …
1. Serving others.
2. Feeling compassionate.
3. Desiring to make a difference.
“I fully trust my instincts when I’m focused on serving. When it’s helpful, my ‘sage’ is speaking.”
The Sage …
1. Explores with great curiosity.
2. Empathizes with self and others.
3. Innovates and creates.
4. Navigates a path that aligns with deeper values.
5. Activates — takes decisive action.
Publicly share your journey through struggles and challenges.
Share lessons from failure, but avoid being a victim. Your journey draws, inspires, educates, and challenges.
Bonus: Keep your current failures – instances when there’s no progress at all – between you and close friends. That’s your private story.
When and how do you share your story?