By Valerie Oechslin
How do you discover your uniqueness? If you talk to any documentarian they’ll tell you that they look for stories that are interesting and compelling. EVERYONE has an interesting and compelling story! When I’m sitting with a person in a Starbucks or having dinner with new business acquaintance I’m always struck by how they respond to pointed (but not too personal) questions. Do you have kids? What brought you to this town? Do you have siblings? What do you do for a living? How did you get into that line of work? Where did you grow up? Anyway you get the picture. Without prying too much I start to hear the interesting details of their story. Usually a person is looking for someone to be interested in their story and they’re more than happy to open up.
What strikes me everytime is that each person is unique and the ins and outs of their life experience have formed who they are today. All of us have good qualities and one thing on which we can agree is that our experiences have formed our personal characteristics. So what, right? Well I think if we pull out the good from our stories then we can begin to find our purpose in life.
What do we have to offer the world? My story is different than yours so what I have to offer is different than what you have to offer. But we both have unique gifts that have been affected by our life experience. Let me suggest that you sit down and pretend you were doing a documentary on your life and a filmmaker was asking you questions about the things you’ve learned in life, things you value in life and actions you’ve taken in your occupation, relationships and other decisions. It’s okay to include a struggle because people like a good story when the main player overcomes a serious challenge in their life and declares victory over it! Overcoming anything is a VERY important part of your story so let it rip!
Finally, I would like to encourage you to use your story to find your purpose. Ask yourself, “What can I offer a group of people?” Maybe a professional organization, a non-profit mentoring or recovery program or a teaching opportunity. The point is that you have some wonderful things to offer the world and exploring your story is an effective way to discover them.
You are special, unique and valuable so don’t underestimate the positive and profound effect you can have on this world.
BE Better. BE Exceptional. BE Unique. And most importantly, Be YOU!