"There are people who invest in stocks, and there are people who invest in stories.”
I posted this quote from Jamie Tworkowski's book If You Feel Too Much as a status on Facebook the other day but it only got four likes. It occurred to me that this quote on it’s own can be confusing or difficult for people. Maybe these few words could change the world if someone expanded them and helped people get started. So here goes ...
Have Your Voice Heard: Become an Odyssey CreatorFirst things first, I’m not saying to not invest in stocks. I’m not saying that money is unimportant. But there are dangers to money. I know people who have put money on a pedestal and let it become the center of their being. Those people would rather focus on their money and using that money for selfish gains. So money in of itself is not terrible, just have caution. Money can be invested in stories too but don’t invest money just for the sake of having money.
Now that we aren’t invested in our selfish stocks, how do we invest in stories if we don’t know what stories are? Stories aren’t some fiction tale that you tell children to put them to sleep. They are the people walking down the street with their head down. They are the coworker who ate lunch at their cubicle alone again today. They’re the kid who dropped out to raise his family. They’re the friend who has stuck it out with you. They are the ordinary, everyday life of all the people around you. Invest in those people!
But how? What is investing in stories? Just throwing money at people who seem to need it? What should we do? When Jamie wrote this, he meant investing money into people's stories, but there has to be more. Right? What else are we supposed to do?
Care. Just genuinely take an interest in people. Even if it’s just one person at a time, learn to care about people. Even if it starts with just a couple minutes a day, care about people. Listen to them, be with them, be a safe space for them. Just be present, really present, both physically and mentally, with them. Let them know they matter. Learn to love them for who they are right now. Not who they were. Not who they could be. Not for their accomplishments. Just who they are created to be in this moment.
This isn’t always easy. Sometimes investing in people seems pointless. You drain yourself of all you have to offer and there is no change. You don’t gain anything and other people don’t seem to prosper. But remember, investments take time. You may never see any growth but a small investment could potentially make a difference that changes a person’s life. Stay focused on investing in people, not on any sort of reward or reassurance. Investment in stories is selfless. If you’re investing in stories for your own benefit, then you might as well invest in stocks.
“There are people who invest in stocks, and there are people invest in stories.” Which will you be?
I’m choosing stories over stocks.