You are always weaving threads into the illustrative tapestry of your life and the lives of others. Going back over it, what do you see?
The story of Sam Walton is imparted upon employees of Wal*Mart. The story of our founding fathers is disseminated through history classes. The story of that fateful Saturday ten years ago is told through the scar you may have. All around us there is a great story going on. Behind every brick, statue, neck tie, and piece of paper we are forever composing the greatest story known — ours.
In business, a story helps convey who you are and what you do. From small businesses who started up in hopes of servicing their community to major corporations like Wendy's having the story of Dave Thomas as a part of their culture. In politics, a story acts as an emotional ignition to a piece of legislation. In medicine, a story describes what is going on inside you that is otherwise impossible to see. In religion and philosophy, stories convey lessons on how to live a better life through the teachings and experiences of the characters.
We are creatures of stories and that is truly what sets us apart from the other animals.
The stronger your story, the easier it will be to convey points, have doors opened to/for you, and see an accumulation of wealth both tangible and intangible. Yours goes on to affect others' stories and in turn you get returns on your own tapestry as others weave in and out of it. As contentious as some could see it, the basic story of President Obama is fairly well known by all who half pay attention. Think of other people who have had a lasting impression on your life. Perhaps a mentor, a foil, or even something such as lyrics to a song. Are those that you remember that way because they tell a tale worth remembering?
There's some truth behind the notion that you always ask the old guy sitting at the end of the bar what to do if you go to have a drink being baffled or frustrated . He's probably been there and done that and has a way to impart wisdom on you.
Be sure your tale ends up one worth telling and having retold. It doesn't have to be an epic for the ages as long as it is filled with meaning and vibrant colors drawn from the palette of life. There is no worse tragedy than cutting your own story short through poor decisions or making it monotone with repetition.
If there are some who may think that storytelling in music is dead, here is one modern example for you to enjoy: The Mariner's Revenge by The Decemberists (Picaresque, 2005). As an added bonus, this YouTube user made a motion comic to go with it to enhance the experience. But even if you don't watch the pictures, challenge yourself to close your eyes, lean back, and enjoy the tale.