My Life: From a World of Facts to one of Stories

It hit me recently. Life can be anything I want it to be. Not in a fluffy way but in a really tangible way.

To explain, I need to go way back. Back in the days where I was in my beloved banlieue in the North of Paris. Those were the days where life was straightforward. You disrespect someone, you get the feedback right away, and it is long-lasting (a punch in your face). You have enough money for what you want to buy, or you don’t and go home or make the wrong decision and steal it. And everywhere you go, people are fast to tell you in a very positive way what you can do, what you can not, where you will succeed, and where you will fail. All that made life, most of the time, very simple.

Now in my sheltered life, life is good, but I would not say more simple. There are few facts left in my life. Everything seems to be a story now. When I was 18, people would ask, “who are you and where are you from.” Now people ask questions like “what is your story.” I still remember the first time someone asked me this question. I was in NYC, at a hip hop art event I was organizing. I was so confused by the question, and I did not know how to respond. It is almost as she was asking me to entertain her with my answer.

The richer you are, the more you expect a suspenseful sequence of events taking you to a place full of surprise. Some of the wealthy people will go as far as saying, “do not let facts get in the way of a good story.

Why am I sharing this story? Because the implications could be significant. Think about when you apply for a new job. Think about when you network. How do you think you would come across when you are telling facts to someone expecting stories.

The next several posts will focus on how you can tell your story from a place of power. Instead of saying “I am Claude, I come from a tough neighborhood in Paris” I want us all to bring out what makes us unique and what some can never get based on their “privileged” upbringing e.g., “My name is Claude, I cut out of nowhere, and life made me the most resilient person you will ever meet.”