Why Are Stories So Important to Us?

Stories are important to us because, whether they are fiction or non-fiction, we use them to make meaning of our lives.  We have often been told how powerful it is for individuals to write down their goals.  And those that do have a much higher chance of accomplishing those goals.  I would suggest that a story is more powerful than a list of goals because it has a beginning, a middle, and an end.  It has a step-by-step flow to it, just as life itself does. All stories have obstacles or challenges and either triumphs or defeats. If there are defeats, there are often morals or learning that can be extracted.

When we write our own stories we create our own mythologies.  These are very powerful.  If the story you have is that you never catch any breaks, indeed, you are much more likely to attract that in your life, and, everyone else will also think of you as the unlucky one.  However, if even in your defeats, you find lessons that help you go forward, or opportunities for change, you will more likely create a life that takes advantage of those opportunities or puts those lessons to good use; a life that others can admire.

As a listener or reader of a story, we are much more likely to feel what we describe as inspiration. People do not feel inspired when given a list of tasks or goals, or told what to do.  They need a story to go with the goals, something that takes them into the future.  And, they want to know about stories from the past because they need the reassurance that others have experienced the same set-backs yet have triumphed.

I have spent a lifetime studying and using stories.  Whether I use them in a speech to inspire, demonstrate, or entertain, or in a conversation one-on-one, I find it is the stories that people remember, retell and use to take the next step forward.  They are the harbingers of the Aha!  I frequently use stories in my work as a coach and trainer, as well as in my writing.  Whether I am helping others find inspiration in their own stories, or are retelling my own, they have tremendous value and power. If you want an example of one of my true teaching stories that helps writers go beyond their blocks, please click this link below and scroll down to the example of a teaching story: Click here for example of a Teaching Storyon my Coaching page, halfway down.