You will regret it if . . . 3 Lessons from Writing Your Story

Today I’m releasing my autobiography. (Buy it today only for $1.99)

But this post isn’t really about telling my story. It’s about helping you avoid a critical mistake.

This post focuses on 3 lessons I learned in writing my story. This post focuses on telling your story, whether it be orally or written in a book. We tell our stories every day and, in the process, shape who we are today and what opportunities we can seize tomorrow.

Those that follow me appreciate how I pivoted to do what I never thought possible. I struggled early in life, working warehouse and factory jobs before returning to college to earn my Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Ph.D. before pivoting again to coach executives, author 30 books, 4 plays, and become a movie maker.

Telling Your Story

Part of leadership is telling your story and telling the story of your team’s success.

Part of living is telling your story as a parent, sibling, or child, is interpreting your story.

A significant part of doing what you never thought possible is telling your story.

So neglecting to tell your story is something you will regret. Here are three reasons why.

Autobiography of Loren Murfield, Ph.D.

Lesson #1: See the Power in Your Story

To tell my story in a book, I had to first recognize that I had a story to tell.

That’s critical.

Very few people ever write their story in a book or tell their entire story in a coherent manner.

Why?

  • They don’t Believe their story is interesting enough to tell,
  • They don’t think they are a celebrity or someone worthy of a book or movie,
  • They don’t See how their story can help others,
  • They don’t think they have the skills to tell their own story,
  • They don’t understand how easy it can be.
  • They don’t appreciate how it will change their life.

In the end, it is we, not they. We often don’t believe we have done enough or are important enough to write a book about ourselves. So we dismiss the thought.

We may think telling our own story is arrogant and prideful. So we dismiss the thought.

We doubt we will ever be offered a million-dollar deal so we dismiss the thought.

Let’s pivot that thinking.

If you don’t tell your story, someone else will, and they will tell it a different way than you would.

Is that how you want to be remembered?

If you don’t tell your story, others will never know the lessons you learned.

Do you really want those lessons to be lost?

If you don’t tell your story, others will never understand what it took for you to succeed.

Do you want them to benefit from your struggles?

You will regret not telling your story.

Those that love you most will regret your not telling your story.

“They burn a history book at every funeral.”

I know because after writing my parents ‘book, Humble Homesteaders, many told me they wished their parents had written their story. My father said, shortly before his passing at age 96, said, “I’ve always heard that they burn a history book at every funeral.” Your children, grandchildren, friends, and family will regret seeing your history book burned.

Lesson #2: Reframe Your Failure

Writing my own story forced me to reframe the ugly parts of my life.

We all have them. Whether it is a lost opportunity, job, or marriage. It might have been a serious health problem or the unexpected loss of a loved one. We all have warts and sins we want to hide.

Writing our story forces us to re-engineer our thinking about what happened. Actually, it forces us to see the positive in the embarrassing or the crippling.

In the process, we pivot a pathetic part of our lives to seeing it as a strength.

We are who we are today because of how we have interpreted what we have experienced.

We are who we are today because of how we have interpreted what we have experienced.

Sitting down to write our story, especially in a book, is therapeutic because it forces us to reframe certain events. We cannot tell the pathetic tale that no one wants to hear. We cannot hide the secret, because it will come out eventually. Instead, dealing with our shortcomings, addressing our failures, reconsidering the tragedies is healing.

In telling our story, we find the positive amidst the negative.

In writing Pitchfork to Ph.D., I wrote a partial first draft airing my grievances. That in itself was therapeutic. But, of course, I didn’t want to publish that. Instead, I edited on the computer but, more important, in my mind and heart. That editing pivoted my perspective to see the value of everything I had experienced, good and bad. In the end, it was letting go of the negative that had trapped me for so many years. Like an old-fashioned film editor, I threw out the trash and kept the positive.

I like to say telling my story was haunting and daunting. It was haunting because I had to face my demons and rethink what I have learned. In the process, it was daunting because there were so many lessons I learned in making me who I am. By the final draft, I deeply understood that I couldn’t do all I have done if it had not been for the struggles and missteps I made.

Reframing is forgiving yourself, learning the lessons, and passing them on to others.

You will regret it if you do not reframe your failures. Edit and reframe. Tell the story of your strength.

Lesson #3: Find Your Unique Value

I didn’t start writing with a title in mind. Instead, I just started writing.

That’s one little tip I’ve found in telling stories. Let the title emerge.

As I began recording my memories, I started to see a theme emerging. Although I wanted to record certain historical events for my grandkids and their children in the future, I knew this really wasn’t about me. Writing an autobiography or telling a compelling story is never really about us. It is about those who read and listen.

Therefore, I pivoted to see how I was uniquely valuable to others. Then I pivoted to see how I had come to appreciate that unique value.

For me, I never thought I was very valuable. I have often said, and included in the book, how I shoveled so much manure I felt like a piece of it. In my mind, I wasn’t anything more than a worthless chore boy. But gradually, I took the initiative and found my unique value. Today, a significant part of that unique value is that I have worked through those humble beginnings and done what surprised many. I’m not sure anyone could have imagined what I have become or done. I know I didn’t.

Writing my complete story left no doubt in my mind. I know that I can help those who doubt themselves to find their value and do what others never imagined possible. I am confident that I can help almost anyone see what they hadn’t considered.

You will regret not finding your unique value. Once you find it, you will regret that you didn’t find it sooner.

Tell Your Story

Every one of us tells our story every day.

  • Don’t let someone else tell your story in a way that doesn’t celebrate who you are and the unique value you provide.
  • Do your own editing. Learn the lessons and lose the guilt.
  • Appreciate how your unique blend of experiences, talents, and perspectives brings value to those around you. Don’t be shy. Celebrate that uniqueness.
  • Tell your story every day.
  • Continually edit, learn, and celebrate.

THINK BIGGER

REACH HIGHER

DO WHAT YOU THOUGHT WAS IMPOSSIBLE

I am a multilevel thinker with a wide variety of experiences that has learned how to sense and seize incredible opportunities. For example, I have written 31 books in the last 14 years, 17 books in the last 18 months.  Contact me to begin making your ultimate pivot. I offer a free 20-minute coaching session.

Click here to start reading my story today. Special offer, eBook just $1.99. Tuesday, Nov. 16.

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