Intentional Story-Moments

When we look back on significant change or transformations in our life and our organization, we tell the events as stories.

It's much easier to see the beginning, middle, and end after we've reached the finish line.

But, today, I'd like to invite you to think about the story you are IN right now.

Today you will add a plot twist, a moment of suspense, and you might find yourself with a cliff-hanger this evening. (For more ways to view your life as a story, check out these literary devices)

Stories have a three-act structure: beginning, middle, end.

  • In the beginning, we meet a likeable hero. A relatable person who is on a journey.
  • In the middle, our hero must wrestle with a decision, challenge or conflict. This is the 'inciting' incident where the tension builds.
  • And, in the end, the hero emerges transformed.

As you read this, think of one thing that feels like 'tension' right now for you personally.

  • A decision?
  • A potentially difficult conversation?
  • An event where it feels the outcome is out of your control?

These moments of tension can consume us with an inordinate pull on our thoughts, time, and emotions.

Or, maybe there is something that feels like 'tension' in your team or organization.

  • A tight timeline?
  • An organizational transformation?
  • A team that is 'storming'?

Personal or professional, when we realize these are simply 'Act 2' of a grander story, we are reminded:

  • Heroes all have challenges
  • Eventually, there will be resolution
  • Tension and struggle are a reminder that transformation could be the result if we push through and live our own story

As with anything hard, it can be tempting to choose an easy path. But, the question is what story do we want to live?

How different it would have been if Luke Skywalker had decided to flee vs. stand up for good.

Our lives are full of moments to actively design our Act 3s. Big and small, these moments offer learning and growth.

Inevitably, Act 3 comes. The question is: How intentional is your Act 3 and have you gained all there is to learn from the tension presented in Act 2?

  • Act 3 Option 1: "Against her best judgement, the hero decided not to have the conversation because it might stir up trouble."
  • Act 3 Option 2: "The hero knew that if she didn't have the conversation, the cycle would continue to repeat. So, she anchored to her values to stay aligned on the intention, and she opened up a dialogue."

For reflection:

  • What would you like the resolution to be? When you look back and tell this story, how does the hero emerge? What was the transformation?

This week, let's get out there and write some incredible endings to our story-moments, big and small.

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