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Become a Character in Their Stories [Day 19 – 30 Days to CIP]


This is Day 19 of 30 Days to Creating Irresistible Presence.  On Friday, Jen Louden led our thinking toward how irresistible the truth really is (which I of course LOVE!).  Today, Charlie Gilkey continues that discussion as he turns our thoughts toward the importance of being real and focusing on others.  Your gonna love it. 🙂

Become a Character in Their Stories

by Charlie Gilkey (@CharlieGilkey)

When I was asked to write a post for this series, I was both excited and a bit concerned that I wouldn’t be able to write about how to create an irresistible presence because it’s generally not something I try to do. In a crowded space with so many people trying to be remarkable so that they can get other people’s attention, we already see a lot of Big Personalities, but that’s not really my thing.

There’s more to it, though, than it not being naturally who I am. So much of the effort expended in becoming remarkable, irresistible, and captivating causes people to lose themselves in the story they’re telling. It’s quite fascinating to talk to people who are fatigued from playing the character that they’ve created, when there was always the option of showing up as who they are instead of who they’re projecting.

Rather than trying to think about it in terms of being irresistible – which is largely about pulling people to you – think about what it would mean to become a fixture in other people’s worlds. It’s tricky business because, on the one hand, you can’t lose yourself in their stories, but on the other hand, you have to become a part of their stories.

Think of all the personalities in your world that you reference by their first names only. Those people are so fixed in your world that you don’t need a last name or any qualifying information. What’s more, when you think about something similar to what they do, their names pop up. When I think of comfort, I think of Jen (Jennifer Louden). When I hear the word remarkable, I think of Seth (Seth Godin). And so on. Even in those cases where those people aren’t the only person you think of when you think about a given idea, the fact still remains that in the cast of characters and the world you’ve created, those people are permanent fixtures.

The benefit of you being a part of other people’s world is that you exist to them even when they’re not reading your websites and books or watching your videos. You no longer have to work to attract them to you – you only need to keep doing what you do and they carry around your personae with them. I’d personally much rather be thought of when someone is struggling with getting their creative groove on than just when they’re a part of my world.

Thinking in terms of being a character in their world also helps remind me that the world is not all about me and what I’m doing. We’re interconnected and interdependent in very real ways, and this stage we’re on is so much more fun, rich, and meaningful when we recognize that we are a part of the play, but not the totality of the play. It can also be much more challenging, but I’d rather live by a challenging truth than a simple and false fiction any day.

One last thing about stories: most people are much more likely to share their own stories rather than yours because most people love to talk about what’s going on in their worlds. If you’re a part of their world, you get shared more often and more naturally than when you’re an artificial part of it. Better to be remembered off the top of someone’s head than to be something someone has to look for on a bookshelf or in their browser history precisely because the easier it is for people to share your gifts, the more likely that they will.

What have you done today to become a part of someone else’s story? A simple acknowledgment of their importance to you and an offer to hear their story and/or help them goes a long way.

Charlie Gilkey writes about meaningful action, creativity, and entrepreneurship at Productive Flourishing. Follow him on Twitter to get bite-sized slices of mojo and inspiration.

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