How storytelling can change your life

Amina Zilic
Jul 2, 2019 · 5 min read

Put your life in a story and see what happens.

I have this opportunity to work in an environment full of young, experienced, passionate people who definitely know how to do their thing.

While they know how to do their thing, they have a hard time talking about it.

In the age we are living now, storytelling became the №1 skill that will scale you up but still not many individuals dedicate themselves to it?

There is a single motive behind it.


Bullsh*t. This is such a lame excuse. Let me tell you why.

Human beings are natural storytellers. Every phenomenon in your life or around you such as love, religion, science, friendship…etc needs a story so people can find it trustworthy and believe in it.

No story. No trust.

Simple as that.

Therefore, human beings live their lives within stories. Every day we say many stories to each other. If you tell a joke, you tell a small funny story. Did you go for an interview today? You tell a story about yourself there. Did your kid ask you a weird question about where children come from? There you go, another story is born.

And so on and so forth…

Our lives are filled up with story cells. We create these cells, we receive them and also send them. It is interchangeable and there is where the beauty lies. By telling and listening to stories we learn, we build empathy and we connect with each other.

From what we see, we can easily say that storytelling is deeply-rooted in all of us. But why?

In his book “ The Storytelling Animal”, Jonathan Gottschall says that stories are so deeply connected in human behavior because they evolved at a level where they become a part of our survival habits.

“We are, as a species, addicted to story. Even when the body goes to sleep, the mind stays up all night, telling itself stories.” ― Jonathan Gottschall

As we can see yes, they are an essential part of human behavior. We learn, connect, create and think through stories.

Can you transform your life by telling stories? You bet you can.

How to transform your life by telling stories

“Human beings like stories. Our brains have a natural affinity not only for enjoying narratives and learning from them but also for creating them. In the same way that your mind sees an abstract pattern and resolves it into a face, your imagination sees a pattern of events and resolves it into a story.” — James Wallis

In the overwhelming amount of information, every one of us receives every day, it is not easy to create that one piece of information that sticks with people. Most of the information bounces back without slight notice and a possibility of recollection. If you want your idea to stay in the other person’s brain, the idea has to be presented in a way that triggers the part of the brain that memorizes things. Luckily, that part of the brain is story-shaped.

In other words, do you want to be remembered? Tell a story.

When you want to motivate, teach, present, or be remembered, start with a story.

Information comes and goes. The ones that stay are story shaped.

Look around you and you will see how many people that want to present an idea, teach or connect with the community use the indispensable po­tency of story.

Let me give you an example that I was part of.

As I mentioned at the beginning, I have this amazing opportunity to work with great people around me. While working with them I realized there are so many untold stories here. So many narratives that can inspire someone, change someone’s life, help…

So I decided to try to change that. I went straight up to Hüseyin Polat Yürük and tried to pursue him into this storytelling endeavor. How did I persuade him? Well, I told him a story.

I started with a beginning (where he is now, what kind of qualities he has), went on to culmination (how he likes to help people and how he can expand that to a wider community), and finalized with an end (how he can change his life with this -the main idea).

He was in.

He has an account on Medium for months. He deeply loves to read other people articles and share them with others with the aim to help them because he always found his strengths in these other peoples words. That’s what he is all about. Helping others. Doesn’t matter in which way.

While he was taking so many others narratives inside him and sharing them with others he was totally unaware of how many of his own stories are lurking inside him waiting to be told and given the opportunity to walk around the World.

Why was he unaware? Because he thought he didn’t know how to write stories.

There is no talent behind story writing. This is a skill that all of us can learn and besides we as humans are natural storytellers so we can just continue nurturing it.

Last year in October he became a member on Medium and for the first time he stared at the blank canvas in front of him, that was waiting for his words.

When the words poured out, they didn’t stop anymore.

Until now he published 6 articles and one of them became a top notch article featured on Medium, on Pocket and one of the best articles on FreeCodeCamp publication.

In just a few months, look where he got.

He is a senior developer with 10+ years of experience. There are so many young developers waiting for some advice, for raw experience stories, for help.

Did this experience change his life?

Now, writing is one of the good habits he developed that helped him build his community and most importantly is helping him in his life purpose which is helping others.

Stories can change the world for the better. They can change your world too.

All your experiences and thoughts are organized within a story. Without a story, is it really a thought?! Without a story, is it really an experience?!

So, now it is your turn. Tell us your story.

Thanks for reading. Hope you enjoyed it:)

Startup Grind

Stories, tips, and learnings from and for startups around…

Startup Grind

Stories, tips, and learnings from and for startups around the world. Welcoming submissions re: startup education, tech trends, product, design, hiring, growth, investing, and more. Interested in submitting? Visit our submission form here:

Amina Zilic

Written by

Curious learner and passionate story-teller.

Startup Grind

Stories, tips, and learnings from and for startups around the world. Welcoming submissions re: startup education, tech trends, product, design, hiring, growth, investing, and more. Interested in submitting? Visit our submission form here:

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