Penny for Your Thoughts
Recently, I was walking my dog, Mollie, and as she munched on some grass, I noticed a shiny penny on the ground. That always makes me think of my colleague Carole.
Twenty-five years ago, I was talking with her when I saw a penny on the ground. As I reached down to retrieve my “lucky penny,” I saw that it was face down. “Oh, never mind," I said. "It’s only lucky if Abe’s face is up.” (I don’t know where that superstition came from, but it's long been part of my M.O.)
As I started to walk away, Carole asked, “Why don’t you turn it over and make it lucky for the next person?”
What genius! Ever since her kind and wise observation, I have felt happy turning over face-down pennies, anticipating the good luck soon to come a stranger’s way.
And when you think about it, that lucky-penny story has many potential applications. It could:
1. Show, rather than tell, the moral fiber (like Carole's) of a character in a fictional story.
2. Illustrate to your staff the kind of creative, thoughtful actions you want from them. You might set up a brainstorming session about turning status quo on its head, so to speak—i.e., looking at the way you do things from a different perspective to improve life/work/production.
3. Shape an interactive sales/marketing meeting agenda (similar to #2).
As Mollie and I walked along, I thought about how powerful that lucky-penny story is—and how we need to be on the lookout for all the stories that pop into our minds. That's the real story here. Storytelling isn’t just something we do when we sit at our desks or as we unwind at a party. Stories are the fabric of our lives. Pay attention to which ones show up for you—and see how you can mine them for inspiration and creativity.
Would you like a free copy of the short story that started my fiction-writing career: “A Nose for Murder”? Just sign up below, and I’ll send you your own copy to enjoy. And from time to time, I’ll keep you posted with musings about writing and updates on my sequels to A Life for a Life and other books.