We find stories and patterns even in sparse data

“We find stories and patterns even in sparse data.”

—Author Unknown

Image from Unsplash by Shubham Dhage

How do you navigate the complexities of your world?

How bombarded do your feel with so much information constantly coming your way from all directions?

To insulate and protect ourselves, most of us have set up systems that filter and separate the relevant from the irrelevant. One way we do this is to look for patterns and make up stories that fit with past experiences that are stored within.

When our minds fill in the gaps — regardless of whether they are accurate or not — we can more easily take our next step, and the next.


Where in your world do you invent stories and find patterns to deal with information overload? How does this strategy serve you and where does it trip you up?

What stories are you spreading?  Catch yourself before you release

“What stories are you spreading?  Catch yourself before you release all the feathers in your gossip pillows.”

Image from Unsplash by pedro via

Almost everyone enjoys a good story. Whether truth or fiction, we can’t seem to pull ourselves away from all the juicy details. Perhaps most stories seem more engaging because they involve others compared to the humdrum lives we seem to lead.

We can all be judgmental and critical of others from time to time. This fact, along with the desire to be in the know, often has us participate in throwing a few gossip pillows. What feels like harmless banter in the moment often lets many harmful feathers fly that can never be retrieved once they are out.


To what degree are you a story spreader?

Where in your life have you seen and perhaps participated in letting some feathers fly?

How can you stop yourself and investigate such situations in the future to prevent a mess that could result?

The story you tell about yourself is your greatest work of art

“The story you tell about yourself is your greatest work of art.”

Tara Conklin, NYT Best-selling Author

Image from Unsplash by Natalia Yakovleva

Most of us have at least a handful of stories we repeatedly tell ourselves and others.

They may be tales of wit, humor, insights, adventures, and accomplishment, but they are all reruns, and rarely have much to add to our todays.

Although many are comforting and familiar, they rarely move us forward in any significant way and can often limit us from evolving and becoming an even better version of ourselves.


What new and improved stories can and will you write with this day to make it a more beautiful masterpiece?

Stories are like little time capsules

“Stories are like little time capsules. They carry pieces of truth and meaning over time.”

—Mark Nepo, Author of The Book of Awakening

Image from Unsplash by Reuben Juarez

How old are you? Imagine you have a box containing a time capsule describing each year of your life. They contain listings of the people in your world and a vivid description of the events and stories you captured that year.

Which of those stories carried pieces of truth and meaning that still resonate for your today? How did these stories shape your personality, character, and the core values that continue to guide you?

What stories are you writing these days that you will find the next time you open capsules years from now?


Create your own time capsule over the coming weeks or months. Capture in words and Images the pieces of truth and meaning that influence you the most.

What new chapters do you want to write with your life

What new chapters do you want to write with your life?

—Calm App Reflection

Image from Unsplash by Maegan Martin

I love the idea that thoughts can become things and that what we think about can come about.

What is your relationship with the written word? Have you kept a journal, written a blog, written a letter, or perhaps even published a book? How often to you text, tweet, or use email?

Alternatively, how often do you think and speak? What are the words that you form and utter that do not necessarily make it into print but have the potential to become real?


What would you include if you wrote an autobiography?

What new adventures and engaging stories can and will you write with the rest of your days?

Storytelling reveals meaning without committing the error of defining it

“Storytelling reveals meaning without committing the error of defining it.”

—Hannah Arendt, 20th Century political philosopher, author, and Holocaust survivor

Image from Unsplash by Daniel Schludi

Wendy and I love going to the movies. Although we can now see thousands of films from a multitude of streaming services from home, somehow the big screen is how we most enjoy these stories.

We recently saw Death on The Nile based on Agatha Christie’s classic novel. The public rated this film considerably higher than the critics and we, too, were gripped by the twists and turns untangled by the famous Hercule Poirot. Great stories magically take us along for the ride without having to narrate everything we are supposed to see. Discovering many clues on our own and being our own sleuths is a big part of the fun.


How and where do you use storytelling to convey important messages and engage your audiences?

In what ways can you better reveal meaning without committing the error of defining it?

I enjoy the storytelling wisdom of Bernadette Jiwa. You can learn about her work at https://thestoryoftelling.com/

“Think of your life as a story not yet written.”

“Think of your life as a story not yet written.”

—Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening

Image from Unsplash by Tim Arterbury

How would you describe yourself? What is your personality, your temperament? What are your signature strengths?

What does your recent DISC or Meyers Briggs assessment say about you? How cemented are the stories you have about yourself?

What if you closed all the chapters of the book of your life and started fresh?

What if you took out a new journal or blank book and began writing the story of your life going forward?

Imagine the opportunities and possibilities of your life and how you will make them real throughout 2021.


Consider the idea of writing your story about tomorrow— and then living it. As you make this practice a habit, you can advance your efforts to weeks, months, and years.

What stories might you tell with your intentions and actions to live this way from this point forward?


“Stories are more appealing than statistics.”

“Stories are more appealing than statistics.”

—Author Unknown

Image from wikipedia.org

Every Thursday evening, Wendy and I make it a priority to watch Young Sheldon on CBS. The stories of this little boy in Texas with a Nobel Prize IQ always perks up our day.

We love to see how he drives those around him nuts with his encyclopedic knowledge, and his amusing struggles with the daily aspects of growing up.

The show and its cast of quirky characters has a lot of heart. We always find ourselves cheering Young Sheldon through each adventure.


Where and in what ways can you incorporate more stories to humanize and help people better relate to your messages?

How can tapping into people’s hearts—not just their heads—better influence and engage others in your personal and professional communities?

Friday Review: Storytelling


What are the stories you tell yourself, and the ones you hear from others? Here are a few storytelling posts you may have missed.


“Stories can conquer fear, you know. They can make the heart bigger.”




“When I look back in five years, which of these options will make the best story?”




“Consumers don’t just want to understand the story. Increasingly they want to be part of it.”




“The key to the future of the world is finding the hopeful stories and letting them be known.”

“The key to the future of the world is finding the hopeful stories and letting them be known.”

—Pete Seeger, 20th Century American folk singer and social activist

Image from Unsplash by NeONBRAND

Where do you get news about local and global events?

To what extent do these outlets use the “If it bleeds, it leads” approach? What do they do to keep your eyeballs glued to the site, so you also see the ads for various pharmaceutical products to speak about with your doctor?

What percent of these newscasts and articles focus primarily on the negative rather than offering a higher percentage of hopeful stories along with the objective fact-based realities?

Stories of hope, compassion, empathy, and courage can and do inspire us to bring out and express these qualities in our personal and professional communities.


What positive and hopeful stories do you write and share, to uplift those around you?

How can and will you inspire others in your world to do the same to raise our global spirits?