Stories Change Everything

Stories change everything.  A story can be the sole difference between you getting a sale, a new connection, a new job or perhaps even the man or woman of your dreams.  Let me explain what I mean with a short story.
In October of this past year on of my brothers got married.  For the groomsman, he had picked out some suits.  Like the many times before, when I got the suit back from the tailor, multiple pockets were still sewn shut.  I grabbed a little pocket knife that I had and cut the thread so I could actually use the pockets.  I figured that there would be others who’s suits where in a similar disarray, so I brought the knife on the wedding day.  Low and behold I was correct.  The best man, a guy that has known our family for decades, ended up needing to use the knife.  When I finished up he handed it right back without a second glance at the knife.  As he handed the knife back my other brother who was also one of the groomsman spotted the knife.
His face lit up with joy because it was one of the knives that he had brought back after serving overseas near the Middle East.  As soon as the best man heard that this knife was a gift from my brother, everything about it changed. He asked to see it again and he held it with respect and awe as my brother, who gifted the knife, was able to tell a little about it and his time in the army
As I said, stories change everything.  They turn an ordinary knife into something worth taking a second glance at.  Stories are so important that before we go into any of those moments that could be life changing, we need to make sure that we are prepared. Prepared not just with general background information on the other person or company, but prepared with a story that clearly illustrates why using you, or what you offer, is a game changer.

A Thank You Note Long Past Due

One of the things I wish I would have realized a long time ago is that life is infinitely better together.  It is amazing how this simple truth escaped me decades ago and how it still seems to be an elusive concept to many who try to do life all on their own.
It was fourth grade and a I wrote a note that my teacher confiscated and brought to the student counselor.  From there my parents were called, my mother came to the school, shocked, and within a day or two I went to another counselor.  I honestly don’t remember much more of the event, probably because I have blocked it out, but one thing I do remember is that I felt so dang alone and empty.
In that loneliness I fell into reading and started devouring books as best I could.  There where a few in particular that really caught my attention and I would constantly go back to.  Those where the books by my favorite author Roald Dahl.  I am so glad I stumbled upon those books because they helped save me from loneliness and isolation.  When I read those books, my imagination would run wild. I would think and dream of characters and lands that were magical and where anything seemed possible.  I would get lost in those books for hours, turning page after page, being filled with wonder and life.  It was these books that brought me into a much better state of mind and that helped form my healthy thirst for creativity and books.
I never ever thought of writing Roald Dahl a letter to thank him until now.  As it turns out though, I wouldn’t have been able to write him one anyway, because by the time I discovered his world and words of wonder, he had already passed away.  Even so, I wanted to immortalize these words and say “Thank you Mr. Dahl.  Your words helped create a since of wonder and creativity and even made me realize that this world is one of pure imagination and full of amazing people with amazing stories.  You helped save me from some dark and lonely times and helped shape who I am today. I am forever grateful.”
Please, take this challenge I am about to give you some serious thought. I challenge you to handwrite a letter to someone who has impacted your life.  Let them know that impact they have had on you. It doesn’t matter if it is someone you have never met in person, just let them know.  If they are no longer on this earth, write a post on the internet letting everyone know what impact they had.  Please, take this challenge and spread some good, and don’t forget to let us know who it was and why you wrote them as well.

Do We Live In  A World Of Abundance?

Ever since I finished the book “Love Does” by Bob Goff, my interactions with others have shifted.  Folks who I normally wouldn’t have bothered to have a conversation with, I have a conversation with.  People I would have walked on by, I take a moment to say hello and get to know them.  This intro isn’t to toot my own horn, but it’s to let you know how much of a jerk I was/am and how wrong I was in my thinking until this book came into my life.

Every person, no matter their title, position or circumstance, has a story that needs to be heard, and the gentleman I met off of our city’s square was no different.  His name is Alfonzo and from all appearances he was homeless.  As I saw him out of the corner of my eye, I gave a polite nod and was walking towards my car.  As I was about to open the door he says something at me and all I could think was “Damnit!” I then quickly reminded myself that he’s a person that has a story and it needs to be heard.

I walked over and sat down next to him, we started to have a conversation.  Within moments I could tell that his mind wasn’t all together as he kept on saying Brad Pitt and other various celebrities owed him money.  At other moments he referred to himself as God, but the stories he would tell didn’t match up with the God that I know.  

We finished up our conversation with me letting him know for the tenth time that I wasn’t related to Brad Pitt and was not responsible for his “debt,” I said goodbye and drove away.  Not more then ten seconds after I started driving away I knew I had to go back and give him something.  I begrudgingly turned around and parked right back in the same spot I had left.  By the time I got back to Alfonzo someone had brought him some breakfast, so I asked if I could get him something to drink.  He wanted some apple juice, so I walked into the restaurant on the corner and popped back outside moments later with three bottles.  

As I walked back over to Alfonzo I said, “Here is a bottle for now, one for later, but this third one… I need you to promise me something.  I need you to promise that you will give this third bottle away.  Alfonzo, I want you to know, understand and experience that we really do live in a world of abundance.  I want you to have the ability to help someone out today.” 

After everything was said and done, I realized that this encounter was as much for me as it was for Alfonzo.  The reason I say this is because even though I truly believe we live in a world of abundance, most of the time I rarely act like it.  

Now whether Alfonzo kept his promise or not doesn’t truly matter.  What matters is that I got to put action towards this belief of abundance and share a little bit in Alfonzo’s story.


What is your belief?  Do we live in a world of abundance, or is there only so much to go around?