You have a powerful set of instructions hard-wired into your brain, ready in an instant, easily accessible, solidly fixed in your memory. In these instructions are the answers to almost any situation you will ever face. They require no effort on your part. You use them every day.
We call them stories.
You got them from your family while sitting at a dinner table or while riding in the back seat on a trip. Maybe they came from friends or your own experiences. Some of them came from the news, reality TV, movies, grocery store magazines or books. Maybe even from blogs like this.
They are powerful beyond imagining. Why?
Because everything significant that’s ever happened to you resides in your memory. Your brain stores memories carefully, as if your life depends on it. Because it does.
The problem is recalling them. There are so many memories and we can only think one thought at a time. So our brain filters them according to importance. The memories that are rich, complex and multi-sensory are more easily recalled.
That’s why memory tricks work. We connect random information into a story with acronyms, songs or bizarre mental pictures. Your brain classifies them as more important. Poof! Test answers appear when you need them.
Stories are the most powerful memories we have. It’s how humans have passed on knowledge to new generations since before history was recorded. We are designed for it. It’s how we know how WE do things. Our family does it this way. Our group. Our people faced this and did that.
Instant recall. Shared history. Powerful.
I’ll be sharing some of my most important stories here. For instance, my Dad’s experience at eighteen years old, stranded on a Pacific island alone, surrounded by hostile, starving Japanese troops. It’s a good story.
But there are other stories. For example, a friend of mine recalls stories of a violent father who beat him and yelled vicious things at him. It is as real for him today as it was back then. He lives with it every day.
Here’s the really great news. Great News! He’s now one of the kindest, most loving, responsible people I know. How?
You get to choose your own stories. You can write the story of your life yourself. Even better, you can collect great stories from other people. People you choose. People you want to be like.
The most published and read book in the world, the Bible, is a collection of stories. Stories of God’s interaction with man. Good book.
Choose your stories well. They are powerful. Life changing. You will become the stories you tell yourself.
Make your life a story worth telling.