Why Retirement Stories

Retirement Sentiments expressed via stories

You may wonder why retirement stories.  Because I believe stories are a very effective way to discuss retirement issues.

Storytelling is as old as humankind. Every culture, every land has a tradition of storytelling for entertainment, learning, influence and persuasion. 

The storyteller invites you into another world, or he may tell you a “true” story, embellished for interest and dramatic effect. In this way he can impart important messages, indirectly. Sometimes it’s a simple story where the “hero” tells you what to do. Or it may be a parable with metaphors and symbols, so that you go “inside” to discover its meaning for yourself. 

Why retirement stories draw us in

A salesman is a storyteller! Observe him lead you with openings like: “Let’'s imagine you agree that...or, I wonder if...or, one of our customers was telling me last week...

We often greet a friend with the salutation “What'’s the story?” The television newscaster begins with - “The big story today is...” A client may say - “that'’s the story of my life.” 

Yes, since people began to communicate, “Tell me a story”, has been a request of both children and adults. Stories are our birthright

The “Goban Saor” was a quick- witted storyteller, an artisan, who lived in pre-Christian Ireland. He was part of the old Celtic order of Bards and Druids. Here is a story, typical of his style, called “Shortening the Road:”

One day, whilst out walking, the Goban Saor said to his son-”Shorten the road for me.” The son began to walk quickly, thinking that would help. The Goban sent him home, when he didn'’t understand the request. The next day the Goban made the same demand, and this time the son began to run. The Goban sent him home again. When the son got home he told his wife what was happening. She had the answer. “When he asks you to shorten the road, he wants you to tell him a story!”

This story is the origin of an Irish Sean-Fhocail (proverb): Gioraionn beirt bothar (Two people shorten the road for each other). I know this proverb is true since one of my retirement hobbies is hill-walking. 

We use stories for learning and sharing knowledge in organisations. When I joined my former company I asked questions that were answered with a story. “How did you make that sale? How do our competitors maintain quality? How do you get a budget approved in this company?” 

I have no doubt that the stories were sometimes embellished, which added entertainment to the learning! 

Why Retirement Stories aid retirement sentiments

I believe stories are a very effective way to discuss retirement issues. This is why I created www.retirement-stories.com 

In our career, analysis drives business thinking. Research and facts are good, stories are unreliable. We have to be practical, have information that is real and factual, and stay grounded in the present. This approach engages the mind. 

Retirement Planning is about the future. Now you want to imagine possibilities - engage the heart, for energy and motivation. 

How do you imagine the future of your heart’s desire? As a story! And you can play with the story until you becomes familiar and comfortable with your image of the future. (Neuro-Linguistic Programming has some great tools for doing this.) 

I often use stories in Retirement Coaching. Stories have the power to motivate us to action and change, by arousing our emotions, in a way that logic and analysis does not.

I hope that you enjoy the stories on this site! Find them at why retirement stories

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