What’s Your Story?

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INSIGHT OUT By Adina Morris

As a Career Coach, one of the things that I work with people on is differentiating themselves. There are a lot of qualified and talented people looking for work out there, especially now. What makes you different from the next person? On paper you may have the same degrees, certifications, skill set and experience.

In two words it’s: Your Story. 

How you handle a situation as an individual, a team contributor and as a leader. Your actions, behaviors and attitudes are what make you unique. Telling your story describing situations will depict not just what you do, but how you do it and how you interact with others.

I have been working on my research on women and leadership. And as I continue to delve more into the stories of our heritage, I find that who we are as women, can shape not just our own lives, but can encourage the actions our husbands take, influence who our children become, and can impact our community at large. 

Some weeks I wonder how it is already Thursday. Where did the days go? Is it really already December?? I go from getting kids out the door to school in the morning, to settling down to work with clients all day, and before I know it, it’s time for carpool and the dinner evening rush hour. 

But where is my impact? Where is My Story? Does my story have significance? I imagine, really I know, that I am significant in the lives of my husband and children, and I hope in my community too. But what story do I want to be told? Am I actually living out day to day what I really value and hold dear? 

In these last few months of the pandemic, I have spent a lot of time pondering. We have had mountains of more time together as an immediate family, that I am so grateful for. However, we have missed out on many interactions with extended family, friends and community members, whom we sorely miss. But I have also spent a lot of time thinking about me. What about me? Truthfully, I am not sure myself always. This is a confusing time. 

But I go back to my story. What message do I want to convey? What is important to me? What do I want my kids to see that I value? How am I encouraging my husband? Am I being a good influencer? 

Women, wives, mothers and friends are truly the great influencers of our society. We have so much potential for encouraging others to do good and promote our values. 

Are we? Am I? I hope so. But really I can’t rely on just a hope and a prayer. I need to do my part too. But what is that part? What is my differentiating factor? Where is my impact? What is my story? Where is my influence?

I was learning my daily chapter of Navi. We were  up to the end of Yechezkiel. We started last January. My kids all know that I sit and listen to a podcast every day and take notes and look things up in the sefer. That morning my daughter was waiting for me to take her somewhere. I told her I was almost done with the podcast and I needed a few more minutes. She was not so patient. Then I stopped and told her that we were up to the chapter on the description of what the third temple will look like. She said to me, how do you know what it will look like? I responded because Yechezkel gets a prophecy from Hashem and it is described here. And I show her the blue prints as noted in the sefer. She examined them for half a second and said, oh cool. Can we go now? 

At first glance, you think, okaaay.. But then I stop and think, she will remember that Mommy finds learning Torah important and that it has value to her every day. She will remember that when she needs to ask me a question and I am in the middle of davening Shacharis or Mincha, and she has to wait until I am done, that davening to Hashem has value and meaning to me. She will remember that I exercise every day because it keeps me healthy and happy. She will remember that I volunteer and reach out to those in need. She will remember that I encourage Daddy to go learn and Daven in Shul because it is important to him and our family.

Sometimes, really I think more often than not, it is what we do that impacts our children more than what we tell them to do. I can ask them if they davened yet today, and they can roll their eyes and then go do it. Typical child/teen behavior until they finally grasp the value and precious gift of prayer granted to them. But, if they see me and my husband praying every day, and they see us learning every day, and they see us exercising every day, they will know it in their hearts that this is important and they will want to emulate that when they are older.

Am I encouraging my husband? Am I telling him to go to minyan while I get dinner ready and run to the 5 pm carpool? Am I encouraging him to go learn or go exercise too? What is important to me? What is important to him? Am I giving space for both of us to have our needs met? 

I often text my husband after the morning carpool, what is your story today? What does he need to accomplish, and really is there any break during the day where we can spend a little time together. 

What is your story? What are you doing every day? Are you doing what you value? Are you encouraging, as the great influencer that you are, your husband and children to achieve, accomplish and live the values you all cherish? Are you achieving your own goals and influencing your friends to achieve theirs?

What is your story? Take the time to make it a great one, because no one can tell it like you can.