May 9, 2018

Your Ideas or Your Stories

NOTE: This is an edited version of what was in my May '18 newsletter. Go subscribe and you'll be the first to read these kinds of updates.

Gary Vaynerchuck is a brash entrepreneur and podcaster that appears to have a heart of gold–all at the same time. He recently said something in an episode that caught my ear, "No one's interested in your opinion. They're interested in your process." This may not be exactly what he said, but it's close enough. If I understand him correctly, this simple statement means that people are more interested in your story than your ideas. Ideas are interesting but they are not as captivating as when an idea is practiced, lived out.

I think I agree with this. Here's why: more and more these days, I have found myself explaining what I think are amazing ideas to a room full of people. A hand excitedly shoots up. I think it's going to be about my great ideas. Yet, the person says, "Can you tell us your story?" Okay. Got it. Change gears. Tell stories.

This got me thinking about something that I've been discreet about: the process of discerning whether I'm called to be a priest in the Episcopal Church. For those outside of this tradition, it is an extensive process. Cultural distinctives in this tradition that have led me to avoid this until now. I'm not anxious about it but I know it creates tons of anxiety for others. So, rather than share my opinions, I'm taking Gary's advice and I'm going to be more transparent about this process.

I meet with my committee this evening. I invite your prayers and conversation.

Wherever you are. Whomever you are. I hope what sticks with you here is a simple principle: ideas are powerful but your story is even more powerful. Share yours.

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