Many books interest me but few motivate me to take action. Recently I discovered such a book, Jim Loehr’s The Power of Story. Loehr is a sports psychologist who helps Olympic athletes and corporate executives improve their performance, productivity and profitability. He argues that each of us lives in accordance with values, attitudes, self-talk and actions that shape the story of our lives. In the end everybody sees the story that we created. If we continue on the same path as we are on now, what will be the story of our lives that we leave behind?
Drawing on research and on years of working with clients, Loehr encourages readers to look at their past and current “old stories.” His book shows how to identify and write the story that is shaping us every day. Then he shifts to the new stories that we want to live out from this point on. What goals do we want to reach? What values do we want to be part of who we are? How do we turn our desired story into action? When I read a book with fill-in-the-blanks sections I usually skip them and move on. In contrast I completed the (relatively few) exercises in Loehr’s book. In the end I had a clear, written picture of how I had been living out the old story influences, beliefs and attitudes that had been shaping my life. Then I wrote a new story that gives me a blueprint for living a better life in the future.
Leohr refers to spirituality and spiritual energy but nothing is said about Jesus. The book never acknowledges the role of God in our lives or in the changes that we (and he) might want to make. What is God’s story for our lives? That is a critically important missing piece in Loehr’s book. But could this story concept be key to how we coach, lead others or manage our own lives?
What story are you or your associates living? How can your life story be changed starting now? Please comment on your experience with changing life stories in yourself or in others.