The Power of Sharing Your Story


  • “You honor life by sharing your story. You honor life by recognizing those stories that mean something to you, and you carry on people’s values, stories, and lives by sharing.”
  • There is a purpose to sharing your story, even if you can’t always feel it. In this episode, learn the importance of sharing your story with others.
  • “The gift is your life. And the way you share the gift of your life is only two ways — story or communication. Communication is the ultimate human skill.”
  • If you want to build greater reverence for life and long-lasting legacies, here’s why sharing your story is one of the best ways to do it!
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[The following is the full transcript of this episode of The Brendon Show. Please note that this episode, like all TBS episodes, features Brendon speaking extemporaneously–he is unscripted and unedited. Filmed in one take, The Brendon Show has become one of the most viewed unscripted, direct-to-camera self-help series in the history of YouTube. It has also been the #1 Podcast in all of iTunes and is regularly in the top podcasts in Self-Help and Health categories around the globe. Subscribe to the free motivational podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.)

Brendon: I always give advice for — and you all know I’ve been given advice for a long time, I give a lot of it, so forgive me —

Jamie: And you’re really good at it.

Brendon: Forgive me for it. I always come back to this idea to have reverence for life. And let me tell you how that manifests in your question of sharing your story.

I have reverence for life. What that means is, I believe I’ve been put here for a reason. I believe that I’m guided — I personally believe in God. I believe that I have been given my life’s journey as a gift. The good times, the hard times, the tragedies, the brain injuries, the broken body. The difficulties that I’ve faced in my life in every area from bankruptcy, to making it, to emotional turmoil, to all the things we all face as we’re trying to live a good life — all that to me is a gift. I feel that life is a gift. I have reverence for life. And when you feel like you’ve been given a gift, when you can really take that in, the first thing that you want to do is share, right? We always say “to much who has been given”, we always say, “has a lot of responsibility”, but the truth is if you really have that generous receiving spirit, when you can receive the gift of something from someone else or from your creator you want to share that gift, you know?

And so coming out of holidays like we have, the way I like to think about my life is it’s a gift — your journey has been a gift. Share that gift with others. How do you share the gift of your journey and your life’s purpose, path, difficulties, vulnerabilities with other people? Story. You sit them down and you say, “Let me tell you this story”. And you tell them about your elementary school or your childhood or your grandpa or your grandma or that teacher or that person who mentored you or that time when you were down in the dumps but you rose out anyway — that is sharing the gift.

The gift is your life. And the way you share the gift of your life is only two ways — story or communication. Communication is the ultimate human skill.

Communication, or service, is doing something for others. The only way to take a gift is to either speak that gift or give the gift.

And so the way I tell people to do this is to sit down and start with journaling. Write what are some of the stories of the gifts that I have in my life? What are some of the blessings? And don’t write like, “I’m thankful for the kids” — no, write scenes. I taught this to our beach gang, right? It’s the power of visualization of seeing scenes in your life instead of writing a list of things you’re thankful for. You need to journal — write out the story of the scene that you saw.

So instead of saying, “I’m thankful for my dad,” I would think, “Okay, I’m thankful for my dad. What’s a moment, a scene I can see in my memory of me and my dad that I’m thankful for? That scene, that scene was given to me, like the creator directed that scene for me? And I was like, “Oh that time when I got to take my dad to the Vietnam Memorial Wall that was traveling.” So a lot of people don’t know this but the Vietnam Memorial Wall travels around the country, it goes to all the different states. And so there’s the one in Washington DC but they have a mobile one that’s real, it’s life-sized and they bring and set it up in cities.

My dad did three tours in Vietnam. And so when I was in college one year, I came back for the summer and he asked me to go to this thing, and I didn’t know it was a big deal, I was like, “Okay whatever.”

So we go there, we drive, and then as soon as we’re there, you feel the weight, because for those haven’t seen it, on the Vietnam Memorial Wall, it’s all the persons who passed away, their name, carved in a limestone or in granite, depending on which one is traveling. And so I’m there, my dad ended up bringing one of his medals and he put it there and he was just walking back and forth, I could feel the like wow, this is a big moment. We go back to the car and dad’s driving. I go around the car to get in and I hear the keys jangling and I kind of look up and he just looks funny. So I’m like, “Are you all right?” And I walk back over and his hands are shaking and he can’t get the key in the door, he’s so emotional. And he kind of just falls in my arms and I hug my dad and I’m kind of holding him up. And this is my dad, my hero, my strength, he’s a Marine and for the first time as a man, I’m supporting my dad.

And I’m so thankful I got to experience that because I ended up, I drove home, and then we had a short conversation about it. And I went downstairs, I cried about it and I was like, “Oh my gosh, my dad.” And I’m so happy that I got to experience my dad when I was growing up, when I was a man, it makes me so thankful. And so I can write on a piece of paper one day I’m grateful for my dad or I can journal about that scene. And when you journal about the scenes in your life, you realize the scenes are stories, like I just got to tell a story about my dad.

My dad was a huge gift to me.

He taught me to be yourself, do your best, be honest, treat people with respect, take care of your family, follow your dreams, and be a good citizen.

That’s what my dad taught me. So I’m always telling stories of my dad to carry on his legacy. And your kids are going to tell stories about mom to carry on your legacy. And so if we can realize our stories are gifts, that was a gift that I got with my dad, and if I can journal about that or share that, then I carry on legacies, that’s the human narrative, we carry on each other’s legacies by telling stories.

So you honor life by sharing your story. You honor life by recognizing those stories like that that mean something to you and carry on people’s values and stories and lives by sharing.

And so I’m just encouraging everyone, tap into the stories of your life. If you’ve never sat down with a High Performance Journal or another journal to write down the beautiful scenes of your life and feel them, and then tell a friend about them, “Hey, let me tell you about my dad” and just say it, that’s how people get to know you and that’s the beauty of life.