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Everyone has a story - what's yours? Have conversations deeper than small talk!

Posted on:September 17, 2015 at 12:00 AM (5 min read)

When posting last, I was in the beginning stages of adjusting to a new place, a new job, and a new life.

With that comes plenty of learning experiences, and as I emphasized previously: mistakes.

In other words, many opportunities to grow and learn from. I won’t be diving into these in this post. I want to alternatively emphasize how important talking to people you meet deeper than the “small talk” depth we’re used to and reflect on the decisions you’ve made to get you into what we call the present.

What is the present?

As the Buddha said, “The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, or not to anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”

Pretty tough thing to do as life doesn’t always give us a daily worry-free pass. If we can relate this to Will Smith’s philosophy on building a perfect brick wall, then I believe we can hit the point home. In one of YouTube’s inspirational Will Smith videos, he talks steps to build a perfect wall by laying a perfect brick. The perfect bricks become the perfect wall overtime, simple right?

We know life isn’t simple - neither is being perfect. Relating this to our Buddha quote, we can see that if we were to live every present moment perfectly, then we can build the perfect future wall.

A worthy, challenging goal to strive for. Abstract as this is, it does make one wonder, how did we get to the present moment we currently are in?

What is “someone’s story”?

Someone’s story, or how they have journeyed to this present moment through their experiences. Turning points or moments that changed perspectives (also known as Epiphany moments), became  new values or helped them learn the true value of themselves.

Big, medium, or small pieces of time that unknowingly will become an outcome we didn’t mean to produce. Who would have thought attending a leadership institute would end with me moving to a new state or visiting a friend in California?

How can a simple trip to Walmart give a perspective on our own “problems”?

These quick snippets of life shape who we are in this moment influence how we try to live perfectly in that moment and build our unknown perfect future wall one perfect moment at a time!

Everyone has a story:

Celebrity Stories

J.K. Rowling - Divorced, on government aid struggling to feed her baby. Manually typing books to send to various publishers (not photocopying, TYPING) to finally become a success through her awesome Harry Potter books.

Jim Carrey - Living in a van at the age of 14 and dropping out of school at 16 with a dream to become a comedian. Wearing suits made by his mother, moving to LA, then creating one of my favorite funny movies, Dumb and Dumber

Jay Z - From no father and selling drugs to being worth $550 million. Concerts, albums, endorsements, clothing. A true businessman!

Strive to learn more

There are many many success stories from many many great people. The interesting realization shows when you find these great people are those around you.

People you work with or meet in the organizations you are members of. Coworkers who motivate you to become financially savvy or make you strive to become a better person. Friends who help you create a financial plan because they have created many on their own.

People that motivate and inspire you to fight through hardships. Mentors who fight through growing up in a tough neighborhood only to change the expectations for their future family tree.

These people are all around, it is up to you to find and learn from them!

They each have been through the roller coaster of life to get them where they are now. We only discover their story when making an effort to reach deeper than the weather, sports, and “how was your weekend” talks.

How can we change? Asking open-ended questions and taking the time to develop that self-disclosure trust, the knowledge is a two-way street.

Reflect on your story

Not only can one’s story inspire and motivate you - it helps us to think about our own life:

  1. What have we done to make it better for others and ourselves?
  2. How have we gotten to this moment?
  3. What stories, experiences, and moments have made us who we are?
  4. How can we share them with others?
  5. Where do we want to go next?
  6. How can we live our present to get there?
  7. How did we get to this moment?

I encourage you to take a step back from your day today, appreciate the blessings you have, and think how in the world did I make it to this moment?

Appreciate your friends, your family, your coworkers and yourself. Your experiences. Your life.  It is in these moments you find the gratitude that is necessary to become a positive person we aspire to be.

Lastly, I want to leave with this: We made it to this present moment because our experiences have led us here, make it perfect!


  1. “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

  2. ”Don’t put off living to next week, next month, next year or next decade. The only time you’re ever living in this moment, is this moment.” - Celestine Chua

  3. ”Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.” - Jim Rohn


Do You Know How It Feels To Be Blessed?

One Love,

Kaleb McKelvey