What is Your Story?
With relatively few variations, heroes and heroines tell stories about basically five major subjects.
By asking yourself basic questions about how you feel about what you do and how you conduct yourself – and by trying honestly to answer them, of course – you begin to identify the dynamics of your story.
Your Story around your Business
You have a story to tell about your passion for your work and what it means for you. And because more than half our waking life is consumed by working at your business, how we frame this story is critical to our chance for passion and happiness.
How do you characterize your relationship to your work? Is it a burden or a joy? Deep fulfillment or an addiction? What compels you to get up every day and go to work? The money? Is the driving force increased prestige, power, social status? A sense of intrinsic fulfillment? The contribution you are making? Is it an end in itself or a means to something else? Do you feel forced to work or called to work? Are you completely engaged at work? How much of your talent and skill are fully ignited?
What is the dominant tone of your story – inspired? challenged? disappointed? trapped? overwhelmed?
Does the story you currently tell about work take you where you want to go in life? If your story about work is not working, what story do you tell yourself to justify it, especially given the tens of thousands of hours it consumes?
Suppose you did not need the money: Would you continue to go to work every day? Write down five things about working at your business that, if money were no issue, you would like to continue.
Your Story Around Family
What is your story about your family life? In the grand scheme, how important is family to you? So … is your current story about family working? Is the relationship with your husband, wife, or significant other where you want it to be? Is it even close to where you want it to be? Or is there an unbridgeable gap between the level of intimacy, connection and intensity you feel with him or her and the level you would like to experience?
Is your story with your children working? How about your parents? Your siblings? Other family members?
If you continue on your same path, what is the relationship you are likely to have, years from now with each of your family members? If your story is not working with one or more key individuals, then what is the story you tell yourself to allow this pattern to persist? To what extent do you blame your business for keeping you from fully engaging with your family? (really?) Your business is the reason you are disengaged from the most important thing in your life, the people who matter most to you? How does that happen? According to your current story, is it even possible to be fully engaged at work and also with your family?
Your Story Around Health
What is your story about your health? What kind of job have you done taking care of yourself? What value do you place on your health, and why? If you continue on your same path, then what will be the likely health consequences? If you are not fully engaged with your health, then what is the story you tell yourself and others – particularly your spouse, your kids, your doctor, your colleagues and anyone who might look up to you – that allows you to persist in this way? If suddenly you awoke to the reality that your health was gone, what would be the consequences for you and all those you care about? How would you feel if the end of your story was dominated by one fact – that you had needlessly died young?
Do you consider your health just one of several important stories about yourself but hardly toward the top? Does it crack the top three? top five? If you have been overweight, or consistently putting on weight the last several years; if you smoke; if you eat poorly; if you rest infrequently and never deeply; if you rarely, if ever, exercise; what is the story you tell yourself that explains how you deal, or don’t deal, with these issues? Is it a story with a rhyme or reason? Do you believe that spending time exercising or otherwise taking care of yourself, particularly during the workday, sets a negative example for others?
Given your physical being and the way you present yourself, do you think the story you are telling is the same one that others are hearing? Could it be vastly different, when seen through their eyes?
Your Story about Friends
What is your story about friendship? According to your story, how important are friends? How fully engaged are your with them? (that is don’t calculate in your mind simply how often you see them but what you do and how you are when you’re together). If close friendships are important to you, yet they are clearly not happening in your life, what is the story you tell yourself that obstructs this from happening?
To what extent are friendships important to your realizing what you need and want from life? If you have few or no friends, why is that? Is this a relatively recent development – that is, something that happened since you got married for example, or had a family, or got more consumed by work, or got promoted, or got divorced, or experienced a significant loss, or moved away from your hometown?
When you think of your closest friendships over the last five years, can you say any of them has grown and deepened? People who have a best friend at work are seven times more likely to be engaged in their work, get more done in less time, have fewer accidents and are more likely to innovate and share new ideas.
Suppose you had no friends – what would that be like? This may seem like a morbid exercise but write down three ways in which being completely friendless might make your life poorer (no one to turn to in times of crisis and celebration, no one to mourn your passing, etc.)
What Can I Expect?
Here’s an outline of The Heroine’s Journey.
FRIDAY: OLD STORIES
- The Power of your Story
- What is Your Story?
- Your Heroine’s Journey
- How Faithful are You as a Storyteller?
- Is It Really Your Story You are Living?
- The Private Voice
SATURDAY: YOUR NEW STORY
- A Quest is Never Forgettable
- They Lived Happily Ever After?
- The Three Rules of Storytelling
- The Four Story Scenario’s
- They Lived Happily Ever After
- Do You Have the Resources to Live Your Best Life?
- Indoctrinate Yourself
- The Story Effect
- Your New Story
- The Premise of your Story. The Purpose of your Life and Art
- The words on your tombstone
- You ultimate mission, out loud
- The Seven Great Plots
- The Twelve Archetypal Heroes
- The One Great Story
- Purpose is Never Forgettable
- Questioning the Premise
- Lining up
- Flawed Alignment, Tragic Ending
- The Three Rules in Storytelling
- Write Your New Story
SUNDAY: TURNING STORY INTO ACTION
- Turning your story into action
- Story Ritualizing
- The Storyteller and the art of story
- The Power of Your Story
- Storyboarding your creative process
- They Created and Lived Happily Ever After.
About Peter de Kuster
Peter de Kuster is the founder of The Heroine’s Journey & Hero’s Journey project, a storytelling firm which helps creative professionals to create careers and lives based on whatever story is most integral to their lives and careers (values, traits, skills and experiences). Peter’s approach combines in-depth storytelling and marketing expertise, and for over 20 years clients have found it effective with a wide range of creative business issues.
Peter is writer of the series The Heroine’s Journey and Hero’s Journey books, he has an MBA in Marketing, MBA in Financial Economics and graduated at university in Sociology and Communication Sciences.
IS THE HEROINE’S JOURNEY FOR YOU?
- You are a creative professional who is interested in developing yourself, your teams, and your organization.
- You are aware that there are no quick fixes. Learning is a journey that works when you are fully committed to it. A guide like Peter de Kuster can bring awareness and help you navigate, but in the end it’s you who is in charge of your growth.
- You want to learn more about how to tell yourself a more powerful story, learn about blind spots, and get feedback.
- You are curious and want to engage in an interactive learning journey with Peter de Kuster.
- You are motivated to work in-between journeys on yourself (e.g. working on questions that will help you develop new storytelling, mindsets, skills, and behaviors).
WHAT’S YOUR QUEST-ION?
The Heroine’s Journey is all about your development. To make the most out of your journey with Peter, we ask you to prepare topics to work on with him. These topics can serve as a starting point for further in-depth exploration.
One Day Journey for EUR 1,200 (excl. VAT)
Two Day Journey for EUR 2,150 (excl. VAT)
Three Day Journey for EUR 2,950 (excl. VAT)
BOOK THE HEROINE’S JOURNEY
Who can sign up for The Heroine’s Journey?
Creative professionals who wish to improve their storytelling, mindset(s) and develop their leadership skills.
What language do we speak in the journey?
Can I bring my own topics?
Yes, you get to choose your own topic.
Are journeys confidential?
Yes. Peter will not share anything that is discussed in the journey.
Where will the journeys take place?
Sessions will take place travelling with Peter a world city like Paris, Rome, Florence, Barcelona, Amsterdam, London, Antwerp, Berlin, Madrid, New York, Venice.
How do I sign up?
Send Peter an email to email@example.com
How do I pay?
After you booked The Heroine’s Journey by sending an email to Peter you will receive an email with info how to pay.
How do I book and reschedule a journey?
Once we’ve received your payment, our Program Coordinator will book your journey. She will also support you with rescheduling journeys if needed.
What is your cancellation policy?
Individual journeys can be postponed up to one week before the journey.