Raise your hand if you think small talk can sometimes be painfully awkward…go ahead and raise it.
Let me preface this by saying I do pretty well with generating a conversation with someone I don’t know or just met. I mean, what is small talk really? You introduce yourself by name, ask where do you work, where are you from, and then you abruptly end it by “having to use the restroom” or checking Facebook/Twitter/Instagram (depending on what generation you’re from). You know, the simple stuff.
That’s why what I’m about to tell you may sound like something you rarely, if at all, experience. So here’s how this goes:
My girlfriend, Riley, and I were meeting up with her friends in the Wadsworth area on a Saturday night. Nothing too earth shattering, just a normal hang out and a way to relax from the long work week we just endured.
Disregarding the details leading up to it, we were sitting at a table in which I knew 1 of 15 people. That person was Riley. Yea, that kind of night.
So, as I’m sitting there awkwardly smiling and checking Instagram (Yes I do it too), her friend’s boyfriend sat down next to me and introduced himself. You probably know what’s coming next…or do you?
After I asked the usual “small talk” questions, he paused for a brief moment…and man was it strange. He then sat up straight, looked me in the eye and said “What’s your story, man?”
Let me quickly backtrack. I’m already uncomfortable and sitting awkwardly with people I’ve never met before, I’m exhausted from running in a Tough Mudder hours earlier and I’ve already yawned 32 times within 20 minutes. And this guy, who just introduced himself to me 30 seconds ago, asks what my “story” is.
So without any recourse, I told him about where I work, what I currently do, where I went to school; the whole nine yards. I know what you’re thinking. And yes, the last thing I wanted to do was go DEEP and be sentimental. But that’s exactly what I did, without even realizing it.
About 3 minutes into me talking, he stopped me and said: “So…that’s awesome, man. You mean you get to help students make their college decision, work with them individually, train and serve clients, speak in front of people, and still train the way you do? Keep doing you, man. That’s powerful”.
You’re probably wondering why I’m telling you this “story”.
Here’s the thing:
I’ve been asked that question multiple times throughout my life and I’ve never had an answer to it. I’ve always thought “having a story” means you have to go through a certain situation or experience for it to be categorized that way.
News Flash: Everyone has a story. Including YOU.
Every day we wake up, we are writing a page/chapter in our book of Life. We just don’t realize it because there’s no physical piece of paper, notebook or a pen. But, the reality is, the paper, notebook and pen are the experiences you create, the people you service and the decisions you choose to make in your life.
What story are you writing about yourself right now? Is it something worthwhile? Is it something that has a sequel?
Never stop writing your story. You never know the impact that it can have on someone. 1 person at a time.
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