On a plane in takeoff, one notices how small my story and your story are. An entire workplace will resemble nothing more than a cube of sugar, a row of well planned streets will look like assembled Monopoly houses and all the streetlights become nothing more than fireflies. All hundred of you on the plane become nothing more than another bird in the sky. It is humbling, our perspective and the big picture, our experience of time and the grander view of time on a planetary scale.
No matter how profound or painful, how they struck us to the core, our stories though feeling like the whole world to us are one of billions. Still, the frame of reference is easily my own story. My pain is my pain and it doesn’t matter relative to yours in an objective way, as much as it matters relative to my perception of it. Similarly, what matters to everybody else is their story, from their own perception of it, within their own frame of reference and within their own myths and history. Only in intersecting with your story does my little story although humongous to me, begin to matter to you.
In business, a potential partner really wants to know how what you can do can advance their mission, their profits, their value, their prestige. That is not necessarily bad. Infact it does help to be able to establish the value you bring to them for your leverage in negotiating and happiness with the eventual outcome.
In a book the reader wants to be taken somewhere new, or inside themselves, somewhere that matters to them, that strikes at the core of their own search, their own longing, their experience, their quirks, their curiosities, etc.
Leading and managing are much easier once you are able to work with people who understand and truly believe in what the vision is and their place within it.
In relationships is it not something similar too? We want friends and lovers who can complement us, can see us, can help us grow.
When our stories intersect we start to create a story bigger than us – long term business partnerships, political causes, love or conflicts between families that span generations, an entire society’s perception of itself. If our shared story is big enough we will give more, we will endure more, we will also be willing to let petty things slide.
If it is open to reflection and troubleshooting then instead of breaking when we hit bottlenecks, there will be room for adaptation and hence a future for our story regardless of uncertainty. If it is worthwhile enough to each of us our shared story will probably sound more symbiotic, long range, holistic and intersectional than selfish.
Back to my own little story. My little story does not matter so much and in a sense that is just as true, my story matters entirely, because the more I put my finger on the pulse of it, the more I can touch more deeply on the pulse of others who need to be on my team and the more compelling what we create is to us both.
Similarly, the better I can listen to your story and your invitation to me, the more I can reflect on my story, its core message and also clarify it. Sometimes it takes a little stepping back to see.