We remember stories. We learn about the world through the stories we hear, and long after the exact details of a situation have faded, we can recall key elements of the story because our mind has retained it. Perhaps it is because the mind seeks order, and placing events in a story provides it, that narrative is so important to us.
So why not use this natural faculty deliberately? Some teachers do, and therapists. Effective public speakers use anecdotes – because the crowd loves a story – to grab attention and hold it.
We tell ourselves stories too, but we rarely use them purposefully to understand ourselves or plan where we’re going. If, for each of us, the landscape of our life is a story, we see only as far as the horizons set by the stories we live by.
I know, from my workshops and trainings, that people often say they cannot tell stories, but this isn’t true. Everybody can, and we all do it every day whether we realise it or not.
The great thing about stories is that they change with the re-telling, so we can shape them and change ourselves. What story is dominant in your life now? Is it a sketch or an epic; a fairy story, myth, legend or saga?