The other day I was having lunch with someone and the first question he asked me is “so what is your story?” For a second (maybe two) I hesitated because I had never been asked that question so directly outside of an interview. I laughed when the person asked me this question in part because I was surprised and in part because I was trying to stall until I could come up with an answer.
The question “what is your story?” seems pretty easy and straightforward yet I find that it’s so hard to encapsulate your whole being in a response that’s only a couple of sentences long. So what should you do about it? Should you just go chronologically from the moment you were born all the way to the present day? Nahh that’s too much information. Next option? Do I tell them about what I am ‘passionate’ about and what I want to do in the future? That sounds better, more cheerful and a way shorter story. The problem with this one is that it doesn’t answer the question “What is your story”!. Also it doesn’t give people any insight into who I really am. Damn it. Ok back to the drawing board..
So what if the best way to tell my stories is through a few qualities that define who I am today and maybe a couple of events that showcase those qualities. This seems like a good compromise between a long chronological story about my life that no one cares about and a story based exclusively on my passion and interests. Now taking this as an initial prompt this is how I defined my story:
3 Defining Qualities
- Perseverance: I keep trying things even if they don’t work the first time around. I try to understand what went wrong and how could I improve next time around.
- Openness: I am obsessed with understanding how things that I care about work. I am always asking why do thinks function the way they do and I try to question as much as possible my own assumptions.
- Positivity: I believe that tomorrow the world will always be a better place. I just do. I also believe that 99% of people by nature are good and that if we think otherwise it is because our goals are not aligned.
3 Pivotal Moments
- Moving to the US: In 2014 I moved to the US to pursue a dream of getting a better education. Jumping into the unknown at 18 with no friends and no connections was terrifying but it has opened infinite doors and prepared to keep jumping into the unknown.
- Choosing my major: I recently graduated with a double major in History and Psychology and I think it is one of the best decisions that I’ve made ever. At a time when the “smart” thing is to major in computer science or economics I think that double majoring in the things that I care about has taught me that it’s ok to go against the crowd, it’s ok to stand for what you belief in and more importantly it’s ok to do something different. This decision has also pushed to learn how to program on my own and learn a lot of other things that I might have not learned on my own otherwise.
- Pursuing my hobbies: There are literally thousands of things that I could choose to do with my free time and precisely because of that I try to be very careful with how I spend it. Thus, in my free time I focus almost exclusively on exercising, reading, writing or learning. I have decided to focus on those things that bring me the most joy and that I feel are truly significant for own mental and physical health.