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Ideas for Stories

Tell me a story about how you were able to find more joy or more humanity in your life.

  1. What was the situation? Is it relatable for people? Describe it--How did you feel? What thoughts did you have in your mind?

  2. What mindset shifts did you have in the process?

  3. How have you stuck with it?

  4. What can other people learn from your story that they can bring into their lives?

  5. Think about 1-2 stories to share. 2.5 minutes or less per story.

As you’ve grown wisdom in your life, what experiences have fostered your growth?

There are infinite ideas and you know your stories best. Here are a few ideas to help you get started. Cover whatever you think is most valuable:

  1. A time you were in a challenging or difficult situation with someone--whether a close relationship or a stranger--and how you navigated it and learned.

  2. A time that you shifted your mindset or re-framed something. How did you realize you wanted to make a change? How did you figure out what to do? 

  3. How you’ve worked to build more gratitude or to direct your attention to the things that are important. How you’ve shifted your focus on the “good” more.

  4. A time that helped you build or grow your compassion or generosity. Or ways that you’ve made these part of how you think.

  5. A time when something from the past was really bothering you, and you struggled to “let it go.” What ideas/tactics did you use to stop ruminating? Why was it hard for you? What did you learn that others can try?

  6. A time when you realized that you had assumptions about others that you wanted to overcome (examples include standing in someone else's shoes, overcoming first impressions or stereotypes, giving people the benefit of the doubt, assuming positive intent, and so on).

  7. A time when you realized that you had assumptions about yourself that you wanted to overcome (examples include self-compassion and self-talk, becoming more humble, and so on).

  8. Topics about being “in the moment”: How do you know when to be “in the moment” and when to reminisce or plan for the future? How do you help yourself engage in the moment? How do you bring all your focus to the person you’re with at the time? How did you build these skills--what specific tactics did you use and how did you stick with them?

  9. Times you realized you were in “escapism” and avoiding some discomfort. How did you realize it? What did you do after realizing it?

  10. Or anything that you see as wisdom you’ve grown on your journey--there are countless topics, the topics above are a small subset of topics. 

  11. Think about 1-2 wisdom/growth experiences to share. 2.5 minutes or less per story.

Here are some questions to help you reflect back in time: 

  • What was going on in your mind? Did you think about giving up? How did you help yourself do what you did? What did you believe about other people in the situation? What surprised you? How have you stuck with this (sticking with a change is one of the hardest parts). What advice would you have given yourself in a way that would have made sense to you, then? 

  • Include enough detail to set the scene (but skip the unnecessary details).

  • Remember this: A personal story is more powerful (and more effective) than advice. Think about stories you would share with friends, in the spirit of sharing wisdom. 

  • Is it engaging and effective? Is this story helpful to other people?

Tell me a story that makes you laugh or smile.

  1. Tell one of your favorite stories! Think of something that would be fun to share with people who don't know you.

  2. It doesn't have to be yours, it can be a story that you read or heard somewhere and has stuck with you. 

  3. Think about 1-2 stories to share. 2.5 minutes or less per story.

Please also prep a short introduction, shorter than 15 seconds, (think tell me a little about yourself...)

  1. Start with your name (“I’m Henry and…”)

  2. How do you describe yourself at this time in your life?

  3. What are some interesting and humanizing things about you? Maybe things you love to do, maybe things important to you, maybe things that are quirky. 

  4. For example: Hi, I’m Sarita. I’m a wife and mom of three kids--that’s my favorite identity. I work in product development--my work is a big part of who I am… And two of my favorite things are yoga and donuts, not in that order.

  5. Please keep these brief and under 15 seconds--think more in terms of highlights, rather than details.

Recording a video with good lighting and sound:

  1. A spot with good lighting: Illuminates your face, natural lighting by a window that illuminates your face and head/shoulders. Be careful of windows in the background, which can backlight you.

  2. A quiet spot: Be aware about background noise. Ideally use a headset with a microphone (or a lavalier microphone).

  3. If we’re recording you, we’ll have a portable light to shine on you (it’s bright!) and a lavalier microphone. 

  4. If you're remote, then let's discuss how to make the video look and sound good.