Do you have those certain, absolutely amazing stories that you tell everyone? You know what I mean, those stories that are simply so crazy and awesome to tell. I certainly understand that feeling. I have several stories that I tell ALL the time. In fact, my mom makes fun of me because I will tell her the same story 3-4 times simply because of its pure awesomeness. I mean, we have things that happen in our lives that are just so amazing that all we want to do is to talk about them and to tell them to others. However, what about those stories that we have that maybe we remember, but we don’t really tell them to others. Not because they are embarrassing or even boring, but just because they are not quite as cool or exhilarating as others.
Right after returning to the FFA Center from the holiday’s, the seven state officers went on a trip to southern Indiana in a place called Magnet, right on the Ohio River, for Keynote Training. One of the responsibilities that State Officers have, is to give keynote speeches at Chapter Banquets. So, this training was fundamental in helping us think of ideas for the speeches we are going to deliver. One of the most important things I did during this training was to think of as many stories as possible. These stories varied greatly, from flipping my go cart in 3rd grade to running track my senior year of high school. I had selected the three “best” stories from my list, so I had thought. I practiced telling the first story a few times and it clicked, then I practiced with the second story a few times and for some reason it just wasn’t connecting with the audience. I mean, I am sure that I felt a connection with the story, but I couldn’t deliver it in a way that made sense to myself, so I scrapped it. In case you were wondering, it was about my first time roller skating, which I happened to think was pretty hilarious. Anyways, after I chose a new story, I finally had three perfect examples to relate back to the main message of my keynote.
I had composed a list of nearly 150 personal stories and I ended up choosing just three to share as a keynote. While it may appear that these stories are more important than the other stories, or that the others may not have even been important at all, that is not entirely the truth. Sure, I did choose those top three for a reason, but just because I chose them doesn’t mean that the other 140+ stories didn’t have a special meaning to me. I initially brainstormed and wrote out those stories for a reason. They had a significant impact on my life and what it was that I was thinking about. Even though I am not sharing those stories at chapter banquets, doesn’t mean that they aren’t important to me or that they don’t represent a significant experience in my life. They do represent something special and important to me and are a part of who I am. Just because I am not telling the roller skating story, doesn’t mean that the experience I had at sucking while roller skating doesn’t make me laugh.
When we think about what it is we do in our everyday lives, the people we meet, the things we watch, and the experiences we encounter, all of it makes an impact on who we are. Maybe you have that story about making a half-court shot, or meeting an awesome person, whatever it is, just because you don’t tell it to others does not mean it’s not important to you. Just remember, every experience we have and every person we meet, helps shape us into the people we are today.