New York Times bestselling coauthor of The Power of Full Engagement, examines the way we tell stories about ourselves to ourselves and, most importantly, the way we can change those stories to transform our business and personal lives.
"Your story is your life," says Loehr. As human beings, we continually tell ourselves stories—of success or failure; of power or victimhood; stories that endure for an hour, or a day, or an entire lifetime. We have stories about our work, our families and relationships, our health; about what we want and what we're capable of achieving. Yet, while our stories profoundly affect how others see us and we see ourselves, too few of us even recognize that we're telling stories, or what they are, or that we can change them—and, in turn, transform our very destinies.
Telling ourselves stories provides structure and direction as we navigate life's challenges and opportunities, and helps us interpret our goals and skills. Stories make sense of chaos; they organize our many divergent experiences into a coherent thread; they shape our entire reality. And far too many of our stories, says Loehr, are dysfunctional, in need of serious editing. First, he asks you to answer the question, "In which areas of my life is it clear that I cannot achieve my goals with the story I've got?" He then shows you how to create new, reality-based stories that inspire you to action, and take you where you want to go both in your work and personal life.
For decades, at the Human Performance Institute, Loehr has been examining the power of story to increase engagement and productivity, and Fortune 500 companies have paid millions to send employees to his program, in which he applies the principles and methods that he now offers in this book. Global business leaders, world-class athletes, military special forces, and thousands of individuals from every walk of life have sought out and benefited from his life-altering insight and expertise.
Our capacity to tell stories is one of our profoundest gifts. Loehr's approach to creating deeply engaging stories will give you the tools to wield the power of storytelling and forever change your business and personal life.
According to this pragmatic self-help, each person has a story they tell themselves about themselves, which is often flawed and misunderstood by the conscious mind telling it: "Residing in the subconscious is most of the hidden matter that influences our stories-all the instinctual urges coded in genes... all the conditioning that took place during childhood... all the trauma and conflicts festering." Performance psychologist Loehr, coauthor of The Power of Full Engagement, shows how these stories, which can be as broad as a worldview ("The world is full of traps and misfortune") or focused unhealthily on a particular "subplot" (like work), define our reality and "destiny." To fix a story gone awry, Loehr explains how to plumb the mind's depths with honest questioning and self-regard, then to rewrite stories using three basics of storytelling-purpose, truth and action-in order to fashion a new, healthy, mission-oriented narrative. Later chapters provide guidelines for rewriting, with instructions on "indoctrinateing yourself" and creating specific training "rituals" you can adopt to turn "story into action." Loehr draws a lot of complex, convincing points from his seemingly simple premise; his book should give anyone suffering from general life dissatisfaction or business malaise plenty to think over.