Make no mistake.
What is happening in the world right now, this is big.
A new normal is dawning on us, a new way of learning, a new way to work our livelihood, shapes our lives. A new future, almost.
This is beyond how much we can hold in our hands.
This is a time that the whole world, the way we work, the way we are valued, is shifting. It is a test of character, a test in leadership.
It is a paradigm shift, no less.
And the only thing that’ll connect us backwards and forwards will be this:
But before we go there, let’s pause and look where we came from.
How far we’ve come.
As the human race, we can perhaps guess an early point in civilization when our forefathers and forefathers would have just about discovered if they rub stones until they become hot. They could invoke a part of the Sun on Earth even when it is night. We can picture them gathered around a bonfire every evening after a long day’s hunting, roasting the flesh of animals they’ve hunted, sharing tidbits about their day’s sojourns over food and fresh honey. That perhaps was the first sense of storytelling known to humans.
As archaeologists have evidenced, they took the stories from fire circles and etched them in stick figures along the caves’ walls they made a home in.
Through age and time, stories made a way through all this time.
From the age of hunter-gatherers to the agricultural, then to the industrial age when people worked alongside machines, and eventually, to the age of knowledge workers when turn by turn, they could delegate the manual jobs off to the machines. And now to realize how we’re knocking on the age of wisdom, almost.
This time it almost took a leap with the internet. The world, it became an oyster.
Our voices amplified by the web far beyond our vocal cords, our ideas igniting possibilities that can change the very way we thought for so long.
Yet to realize how, as we glided through these phases, we left parts of our systems stuck behind.
Our definitions of wealth and wellness, our pursuits of the unknown that is future, our validation of success, and these often got sticky. Our education systems oftentimes struggled struggles to match up to the future that will be our work and health and being.
At times we needed to move faster forward than our minds would carry us; at other times, we’d just need to look backwards and onwards to learn
from the wisdom that is in the ancient within us.
Storytelling falls in the second category.
To realize how the ritual of storytelling evolved yet stuck, held our hands steadfast since those ancient times, through history, and how it continues to shape us to this day, especially as we witness a global shift in consciousness right in these current times, is a reckoning.
As babies, we had stories that put us to sleep much before we learned the ropes of language and relationships. As toddlers, stories taught us early emotions: fire to fear, vegetables to love, mishaps to stay clear from. Whoever told stories, we trusted. Growing up, stories helped us navigate, build alibis, create excuses. Stories taught us right from wrong, moralities and lessons, causes, and effects.
In schools, we learned better with stories.
The teachers who we liked we liked the way they taught us stories, what we could do in life with their lessons. We chose life, what we could become, by stories painted.
However, stories often showed us but parts of an elephant – a trunk there, a tusk here. Our ideas of life and success, therefore, came to us in parts. Our perspectives cut corners and folded themselves up in neat boxes. Following the industrial setting out parents had seen for themselves, their way to prepare us for life was only as good and as far as they could see. And in that picture, life measured in numbers. Often!
Now, times are changing.
In boardrooms, stories are quickly taking over the bar diagrams & pie charts.
Only until yesterday, we had heard, said, and concurred that the future it belongs to self-starters and entrepreneurs.
But look around now!
Look at the world that is going to be.
And what we can do to brace up for it.
As uncertain and volatile the times, we realize that effective communication & powerful storytelling will take centre stage and sit at the core of what we’d function with. These are emerging skills to be crucial forces in anything we want to do at any stage in our lives. In every role, we’d play as individuals, in family and community, and in our careers in the corporate or entrepreneurial journeys.
Now suddenly, we know better than that. It is almost an epiphany of sorts, and we have suddenly been woken up from a slumber that was our definition of life and success. For now, as we know, it is not as much about success as it is about the experience, this life!
The future today it belongs to storytellers and change-makers and thought-leaders.
It belongs to those who ask questions,
It is ruled by those who tell stories.
Better Than the Rest.
As authenticity and whole being become essential to our personal and social journeys, stories are becoming our bridge to the rest of the world.
How can we speak emotions and vulnerability on public platforms? How can we use stories for influence and personal signature? How can we put across our messages in a way that sticks, lingers, and matters? How can we infuse passion and direction into the dry numbers in our business talks?
These, more than many other skills, are fueling and powering the very process of growth today.
And why our single individual lives, just?
Stories are shaping culture, influencing how and what we think, what we want to become.
A new culture, a new day.
A new world.
If not, now, when?
If not you, who?
Tell us your story.
At LIGHTHOUSE with the model of storytelling, change-making, and thought-leadership, I help people to become better at whatever they want to be and build skills towards their vision.
In the intensive program on “Mastering the Art & Craft of Powerful Storytelling,” I’ll teach how we can find and chisel the words we speak, how we can use and sharpen our voice, access, body, hand, and eyes which do as much the talking. How we can use pause, in spoken words. How we can overcome fear, derive joy, and create a legacy with our storytelling.
If this interests you or if you know anyone who’ll be interested, please send me a note using this form.