About a week ago, I was reflecting after reading an article written by Richard Branson on his top adventures which all came to be because he had said “Yes” to some of the most ludicrous ideas that came to his mind. I began to reflect on mine and after some hard thinking I saw that my 10 tangible outcomes in the name of saying “Yes” were much appreciated by my Linkedin community.
As I’m writing about the post I wrote 1,154 people have viewed it and 21 have liked it. That’s the most engagement I’ve gotten from any single one of my posts or articles.
So, I started to ask myself “Self, what is it about this simple post that just shares my real life experiences that people really liked?”
Wisdom, or advice, as Baz Luhrmann put it in his infamous "Everybody's Free to Wear Sunscreen," “is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of wishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.” That's what I did with 28 years of my life, looked back grabbed my experiences, painted over the ugly parts and recycling it to inspire others on their journey. This is all conjecture on my end but I think I can sum up the success of the article in 3 words, this is "simple self story-telling" at it’s best.
1. Simple: Lists make things easier to digest because people really don’t have, or don’t want, to make time to read much unless they can get them in positive stream-lined bursts. That being said, we still like to be motivated by simple, positive, things that happen to others and feel a genuine sense of excitement when that’s conveyed to us.
2. Self: All good writing, or work of any kind, comes from your own experiences.If we draw on them no one can tell us they’re wrong because they’ve happened and the cause that was made has led to an outcome in our favor. Everything’s either a lesson or a blessing so sharing ourselves and our experiences with others is a good place to start from in getting a message across.
3. Story-telling: There’s nothing better than a good story, you take some deep wisdom and distill it into an entertaining form that allows a person to live another life if only for a moment. Vicariously living through others’ stories is what makes a kid (such as myself) gulp down over 1,000 pages of a Harry Potter book overnight just completely immersed in someone’s journey even if it will never be mine. My best lessons, other than life experience, have come from stories.
In future, I’m going to continue to write what I know and maybe there’ll just be a post about the 10 things that fortunately didn’t happen because I said “No,” which is sometimes harder than saying “Yes.” Keep your peepers open. In the meantime, I'm going to bask in the peace that writing that post has brought me.
It's reminded me that one day all the efforts I'm making now towards my future, all the "Yes's" I've put into motion are going to one day be added to this list because I was courageous, compassionate with myself, patient, and present in the moment in order to make them a reality.
You Live. You Learn.