If You’ve Ever Had A Problem, You Have A Story
In highschool, I had a drama teacher who told me something I never forgot:
“Drama is about a man in a mess.”
I thought that was such a fascinating, definitive statement. I think it captivated me because behind those words was an eternal message about what makes a story.
Another way of phrasing the concept is this:
If you have a problem, you have a story.
Our problems and challenges make for amazing stories. Told right, story that explores one of life’s difficulties can teach, inspire, and connect.
And let’s face it, the hero’s journey — the story of a human being overcoming obstacles to triumph in the end — never gets old.
So if you’ve ever had any kind of problem or challenge in your life (no matter how small), you have a story.
If you want to discover what stories you have to tell, look at the problems you’ve had. What have you struggled with? What have you overcome? And what have you learned along the way?
If you want to turn your past problems into stories, here’s a really simple, three-step template you can use:
1. Where were you before?
What was the problem you were facing? What was hard or difficult about it?
2. What was your turning point?
What did you learn, decide, or do that changed things for you?
3. How did things change?
After you learned, decided or took action, how did things change for you? How do you do things differently now, as a result?
Et voila. You have a story on your hands.
I can’t wait to hear it.