A few years ago, I did a 7-day Intentional Living experiment with my mentor John Maxwell. It made such a significant difference in my life that I have decided to make this available to you for free.
WHAT’S YOUR STORY?
When you meet people for the first time, as soon as the introductions are out of the way, ask them to share their story—to tell you who they are and where they’re from, where they’ve been and where they’re going. Understand what matters to them. You may already do this – the telling of our stories becomes an emotional connecting point for us. It bridges the gap between you and the other person.
Why is that?
Everyone loves a good story—we always have. Stories tell us who we are. They…
- Inspire us.
- Connect with us.
- Animate our reasoning process.
- Give us permission to act.
- Fire our emotions.
- Give us pictures of who we aspire to be.
- Stories are us.
Every day millions of people watch movies, read novels, and search the Internet for stories that inspire them or make them laugh. Every day we listen to our friends tell us about the dramatic or funny things that happen to them. Every day people take out their smart phones to show pictures and share stories. Stories are how we relate to others, learn, and remember.
I believe that no matter what “plot” each of our stories may follow, deep down we all want one thing. We want our lives to matter. We want our stories to be of significance. So here are two more questions:
Do you believe you can live a life of significance, that you can do things that really matter? Can you make your story great?
With all my heart, I believe the answer to these questions is YES. You have it within your power to make your life a great story, one of significance. And don’t let the word significance intimidate you. I’m not talking about being famous. I’m not talking about getting rich. I’m not talking about being a huge celebrity or winning a Nobel Prize or becoming the Prime Minister of the Australia. There’s nothing wrong with any of those things, but you don’t have to accomplish any of them to be significant. To be significant, all you have to do is make a difference with others wherever you are, with whatever you have, day by day.
In his book Intentional Living John Maxwell shares his own significance story, plus practical teaching and tools to help you write your story of making a difference.
One thing you might not know, however, is that the John Maxwell team created a resource to help you discover how to make your life count. It’s called The 7 Day Experiment, and it’s a chance for you to experience intentional living – by learning from daily video lessons from John Maxwell, plus practical ideas for small but significant acts that enable you practice making a difference in the lives of others right away.
One of the most exciting parts of the The 7 Day Experiment is the opportunity to share stories of significance with members of a community. Your stories can inspire others when they see how you are already making a difference with your family, friends, colleagues, and people you don’t know. Here are just a couple excerpts from the stories people are telling about their journey of significance:
This was my first time to intentionally talk to a stranger on the bench. To see how happy he looked that somebody actually cared for what has happened to him made me feel alive and connected. I want more of that….to be continued. -Ebony Fagbuyi
I am now beginning to lead my thoughts and actions to speak encouraging words through listening, not just with my ears, but with my eyes, senses and my heart. I find as I focus on others, to discover how I can add value to them (my children and family first), it brings great joy and a discovery of who I truly am and who I’m called to be!! -Vernon Andrews
I am going to make a habit of doing these things on a daily basis:
1) Choose to speak positively about your circumstance.
2) Remember: There is more than enough for everyone.
3) Spend time with other people with an abundance mindset.
Growing up in a home where my grandparents had survived some dark times… we were raised with a scarcity mindset. In order to reprogram my way of thinking, I need to change my way of thinking. -Nelson Salgado
Reluctance is often our enemy in life. We can talk ourselves out of anything before we even think about it!! I have argued over and over in my head for several weeks and decided I would rather be a risk taker and jump into the river of life. It never runs dry. It is so amazing that when you jump into the river you will never jump into the same water twice. So why not jump? -Missy Monokian
If you’re like me and want to make a difference and have a significance story to tell, the first thing you need to do is be willing to take an important step forward. And that comes from a willingness to start writing your story by approaching your life differently.
I hope you’ll join me on The 7 Day Experiment. And you’ll be able to share your own story, to inspire others.
No matter what, I challenge you to identify one single action you could take today to start rewriting your own story. Share that in the comments. As Doug Horton says, “Be your own hero. It’s cheaper than a movie ticket.”
(Edited excerpt from John Maxwell blog)