Tag: Story Line
Often, when our lives shift or hit a major turning point, we suddenly find ourselves in a new role as the messenger. It is during these life experiences that we are forced to dig deeper. Our reality, as we know it, changes and we see the world differently. We realize that sometimes our biggest fears can materialize and that, when they do, we can survive. Upon learning the tools of how to get back on track, we often become so inspired by what we’ve learned that we feel a responsibility to deliver our message to others that are going through the same life experience. This concept continues to fascinate me and was on my mind when I came across the book, The Millionaire Messenger.
Brendon Burchard, author of The Millionaire Messenger, tells us the story of a near-fatal car accident that changed his life. This major turning point led Brendon to ask himself three questions: “Did I live? Did I love? Did I matter?“ After pondering these three questions, he stumbled upon a messenger on television (Tony Robbins) whose message was simple: You have unlimited personal power to live the life you desire and make a difference, and I can help you. Brendon felt empowered to read and listen to the messages of other self-help and business world gurus including David Bach, John Maxwell and Seth Godin. He began wondering — if they could deliver such important messages, why couldn’t he? He devoured all the knowledge he could about becoming an expert.
Brendon discovered that members of the expert community focus their efforts in two ways: first, relating with their audience to gain their trust and understand their needs and ambitions. Then, creating useful information, content and products that add value to their audience and teach them how to live a better life or grow their businesses.
During Brendon’s inspiring two-year journey, he reached millions of people with his message and earned over $4.6 million teaching others how to improve their lives and share their own message. I was so inspired by this book and its message that I read it twice. The information is so accessible and Brendon inspires you to believe that anything is possible. It’s all about knowing your message and putting it into play. It’s about serving others and creating purpose.
I recently read another book that delivers an equally powerful message but from more of a spiritual perspective. It’s called, May The Angels Be With You: Access Your Spirit Guides and Create The Life You Want by celebrated psychic, Gary Quinn. Similar to Brendon, Gary also uses his life story to move in this new life direction. Gary recounts the incredible story of how he first discovered his own angelic messenger in the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris at a crucial turning point in his life. He tells the heartbreaking and ultimately inspiring story of how he struggled with his psychic gifts as a child and then, reconnected with them as an adult.
Gary shows us how to believe in our own possibility by introducing us to the idea that we are each surrounded by a number of angels. Everything we need is around us. We just need to learn how to draw from it.
When I reflect back now on my own turning point, I understand that the universe giving me a nudge was the best thing that could have happened to me. It pointed me in a more authentic direction. It led me to write my book, Story Line: Finding Gold In Your Life Story, which also came from two pivotal life events in my story. It also led to creating a six-figure business from scratch that is all about serving others and helping them to attain their dreams. It provided me with a platform to deliver my teachings about “developing from within” and “finding gold in your life story.”
Our major turning points in life have a purpose behind them. It is our job to seek out the message and accept our role as the messenger. In doing so, we may find that we can turn tragedy into triumph and find our life’s calling in the process.
Where is our gold when it comes to telling strong stories that connect us to our audience? How do we learn to tell stories that touch our spirits and make our hearts come alive? Compelling stories often come from a truthful place that lives and breathes inside the emotional well of the storyteller. Your emotional well is your gold when it comes to bringing your truth to the page and learning how to fictionalize it. This is not about coming from an autobiographical place. It is about coming from an authentic place, connecting with your life experience and bringing your voice into your characters. History has shown us that rewards come to those gifted writers who know how to delve into themselves and bring their truth to the page.
An excellent example of this is the Oscar-nominated film The King’s Speech and its writer, David Seidler. As a child, Seidler used to stutter. When I watched this film, I felt more emotionally connected to the plight of this character than any other recent film’s protagonist. I was totally mesmerized by this character’s journey. When King George VI (played brilliantly by Colin Firth) approached the microphone, I felt his fear. I could feel it in my throat. I rooted for him. I wanted him to arrive at the ‘light bulb’ moment by doing the work with Lionel Logue (played by Geoffrey Rush). I related with his sheer terror. Having personally experienced the challenges of public speaking and learning how to move past the fear as millions of us do, I wanted to see Prince Albert (on the road to becoming King George VI) succeed at his speech. I was on the edge of my seat because I could relate to and connect with his experience. The fear of failure, another life experience that drives most of us, was conveyed flawlessly in this film.
Discovering that David Seidler personally experienced stuttering in his childhood helped me understand why he was able to hit a pitch-perfect portrayal of this character. He drew from his own personal well of experience and emotion and brought it to the page. This allowed the audience real insight into the vulnerability of the film’s central character.
This concept is something I explore heavily in my new book Story Line: Finding Gold In Your Life Story. The book is about learning how to add fiction to your truth. It is also about learning that the stories we experience in our own life have tremendous value. They happen for a reason. And only by doing the challenging emotional work, do we gain the tools to move past the pain and then pass our stories onto others.
In Elizabeth Edwards’ memoir Resilience, I found that she dug deep into her emotional well and came from such a raw and real place. She writes, “Each time I fell into a chasm – my son’s death or a tumor in my breast or an unwelcome woman in my life – I had to accept that the planet had taken a few turns and I could not turn back. My life was and would always be different, and it would be less than I hoped it would be…. I learned that I was starting a new story. I write these words as if that is the beginning and the end of what I did but it is only a slice of the middle, a place that is hard to reach and in reaching it, only a stepping-off place for finding or creating a new life with our new reality.” Think about the words “…an unwelcome woman in my life” and “it would be less than I hoped it would be.” These are powerful admissions and they prompt an emotional experience that millions can connect with.
Resilience reached #1 on the New York Times Best Seller list. The King’s Speech is an Oscar nominated film. Both stories come from a place of truth and conviction. Both writers draw from their emotional wells and bring their truths to the page, giving their audiences a chance to really see them in their stories. I encourage you to draw from your emotional well in your writing. You never know what can happen.