Everyone has a story. If you’re sitting there thinking to yourself, “But I don’t,” – you’re wrong.

If someone asks you where you were born, do you have any brothers or sisters, what you do for a living, you answer them with the start of a story.

How you got to where you are today is your story. Everything we do in life is part of our story, each individual moment just waiting to be put into the context of a whole life.

So don’t try to tell me you don’t have a story.

How interesting your story is depends on many things, not least how good you are at telling it. In the hands of a masterful storyteller even the most uneventful of stories can be fascinating; the phone book can surpass War and Peace.

But stories also depend on living a life worth telling people about.

That doesn’t mean we all have to drop everything and go skydiving or bungee jumping just to have a story to tell. A life worth talking about is simply a life filled with rich experiences, things that make us grow and develop as people, whether they’re good or bad.

Vulnerability can be one of the most powerful storytelling devices. We’ve all read (and got bored with) stories of people doing amazing things, of achieving incredible heights in their lives, or splashing their success on fast cars and globe-trotting. But failing creates powerful stories, too.

Stories are all about connection – connection between the teller and the listener (or reader, or viewer) – and connection comes from creating emotional empathy. So making yourself vulnerable and sharing the things that haven’t gone so well is something we can all relate to: at some point or another we have all failed.

It’s that connection that I love most about stories. They give us the benefit of other people’s experiences to empathise with and learn from. I get so inspired by other people’s stories and I love to share both theirs and mine with the world.

I would love for Smile Through It to become a place for stories of change, of people who are embracing their second chance at life regardless of whether it came about through a huge, dramatic, external force (like mine), or through sheer force of will where they recognised a need to change and set about doing it.

Do you have a story to tell (see above: of course you do). Email me and let me know; I’d love to share it with my readers.

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