You know when you meet a new person for the first time, either at a party or church or at a meeting for work, and they ask you, “So, tell me about yourself.” We all have some sort of answer. Some of us try and dodge it, like me, because I’m introverted by nature and small talk is not something I’m very good at. While others of us can just rattle off this super engaging story with just the right amount of humor, struggle and triumph that their life seems magical. Well, let’s get down to it. That person has the gift of great storytelling not necessarily a better life. It just has to do with they way they have framed, edited and displayed it while telling it over hors d’oeuvres and drinks.
I’m here to tell you that you have an interesting story to share too. It might need some editing but I promise you there are things in your life that make you unique and that is why I think everyone deserves to have and use an annuary.
Sure you don’t have to write in your annuary for the reason of proving me right or to share with anyone, but this could be a great motivation to get started.
When I first started my business right out of college, I produced video biographies. I’d interview someone (generally in their 70’s or 80’s) and I’d ask them questions about their life. When were you born? Where did you grow up? Tell me about your grandparents. Tell me about meeting your partner for the first time. How did you get into that kind of work? Tell me about your children. See, for the most part, we can all answers these questions, but there is always that one question that doesn’t apply that then highlights something unique about the interviewee. They got the dream job. Took an epic trip. Sometimes that element is not always positive.
Maybe you have lost a child. Or a partner, pet or house due to a fire. Went to fight in a war. Battled cancer. Maybe a job that you had a long time but then lost reshaped your story.
I’ve learned so much about my life by learning about other people’s lives. I highly encourage you to ask others about their story. Start with something like, “So, tell me your story.” “Where did you grow up?” You won’t believe where that little kickoff will take you. Then just keep encouraging more of their story out. Think of that clown trick where he pulls a long colorful strand out of his mouth. Just keep teasing their story out.
Hearing these stories from others will then, in turn, bring out some of your memories and then you can jot them down, or at least reflect on them more.
So, I hope the takeaway here is that you feel special enough to take a moment and use your annuary to capture those memories that fly by in your mind. Don’t forget to check out the “Spark Something” section of the book if you feel overwhelmed with what to jot down. Enjoy the experience and write to remember.