Write Your Story
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This podcast started as BJ’s story of his journey into development. It has become more as Will now tells his story as well. Now it is about our journey as developers and helping others along in their journey.
The theme for this past year has been goal setting. Writing your story goes beyond setting and achieving your goals. Stories are about growth and change. It is becoming your own guiding influence.
“It’s very easy to talk about the things you value and not act on it.”
Writing your story can help you find your voice. Telling your story affirms your values. It also helps you to find peace or hope. Sharing your story can help others.
No matter where your story began or where it is going you have a unique story to write. We’ve shared some of our stories here and will share more along the way. Whether you write it down, podcast it, or just tell a few close friends be the author of your own story.
15:10 The Basics of Story Telling.
Start by orienting your audience to the characters in your story. Introduce your people and places to the audience. Show a typical day or what life is like before things change.
“There are character’s like that, that will not change.”
The characters will face a challenge or crisis that changes their world. This could be changing careers or going off to college. It could be negative events in life like ending a relationship. The event doesn’t have to be drastic but the impact should.
Typically there are two types of people in stories those that change when face d with challenge and those that do not. Be the character in your story that changes. Continue to be that character that grows and changes to face new challenges.
19:10 Your Community Story
“The story of your tribe.”
The first community or tribe you are ever in is your family. This is where we first learn about community. This community usually lasts a lifetime. Other communities include a shared cultural heritage, religious affiliation, and friends and group of people with whom you associate.
Our social or community story conveys the social norms of our tribe. It tells what is and is not acceptable behavior. It also conveys the societal consequences for unacceptable behavior. Stories were used before these were codified.
“This is how you navigate the world.”
Community stories are conveyed through history and myth. History is what a community or group of people has experienced together. Whereas mythos is a shared story of a community or group of people that usually conveys the communities social norms in a narrative where those meeting societal expectations are rewarded and those not are punished.
The way we perceive and tell community stories is changing with globalization. America was once called a cultural melting pot but with current technology the world is a melting pot. Not only are our communities diverse but we’re able to join larger groups through social media.
33:20 Your Personal Story
“The story of your life.”
Your story is the narrative you create with your life as you work toward or against your goals. What story are you telling with your life? Are you telling a story with clear set goals with movement toward them or is your story more like a Monty Python sketch?
You want to avoid being whipped around without any control. You are bouncing from one thing to another with no end or next level in mind. This comes from not setting or actively working toward your goals. It can also be situational or come from outside influence. Setting SMART goals and actively working toward them can mediate or prevent this.
“You want to maintain optionality.”
You also want to avoid too rigid of goals and too formalized a storyline. If getting sick or injured completely destroys your story/goals then they are too strict. You may have set your expectations too high or need to break down your goals further. It can also be situational where the structure is placed into your story.
You want your story to be a flexible choose your own adventure. Have a goal or set of goals that you are working toward. Don’t force yourself onto a set path to reach that goal.
40:42 Don’t Let Someone Else Write Your Story
“You don’t want your community writing your story for you.”
This is different from your community story. However it can come from over influence of your community story. To avoid this you need to set proper boundaries.
Your employer has their own story they are writing and you are a part of it. They will want you to do and be what they need, which may not be what is best for you. Relying on your employer for training and keeping up with the industry is letting them write your own story. Ideally you’ll find an employer whose goals match your own. Even if they don’t exactly match you can still move toward a direction that is beneficial to you both.
“With both people in the relationship being empowered to take control of their own destiny, that’s how it should work.”
Family is our first concept of community and therefore a strong influence on our stories. When you are younger your parents will guide you and be in control of your storyline and goals. This becomes a problem when they continue to do so at the detriment of our own ambitions. Ideally they will have set the stage for you to create your own story.
Romantic relationships create a story of their own. If you are not careful they can take over your personal story. Ideally when you start writing a story with another person you combine goals/stories.
Are Exoskeletons the Future of Physical Labor?
The Verge reported that Ford is experimenting with exoskeleton technology to avoid or prevent work place injuries. Now this is not really Internet of Things, but it is a really cool thing going on in tech right now. How many of us have watched movies or thought it’d be cool to have exoskeletal assistance when lifting really heavy things. Imagine when this tech gets into the main stream, we could rent an exoskeleton from UHaul for moving furniture. I’m sure Will might even offer to help me move again if he could wear one.
Tricks of the Trade
Never underestimate the power of narrative. Attach your goals to the narrative of others. Don’t convince; make your goals part of their narrative. This is how you wield power and it is, quite frankly, something developers really suck at.