If you find yourself staring at a blank page when you sit down to do your Storykeeping, begin by asking yourself why you are there. Knowing your why will help you decide what to write about.

There’s a wonderful TED talk by Simon Sinek for business leaders that surprisingly has some wisdom for Storykeepers. Sinek explains that the part of our brain that makes decisions is made up entirely of emotions and has no capacity for language. Sinek says that all of our decisions are made in this non-verbal part of our brain, so understanding the feelings involved — our “why” — is the path to engaging ourselves and others.

Applied to Storykeeping, knowing why you want to preserve family stories — your “why” — serves as a roadmap. It helps you navigate your way in the sea of memories to identify what’s most important and move beyond the blank page. Knowing your “why” helps you bring personal history facts to life and turn them into a story about relevant people who matter. Because what matters to you will matter to your children (if not now then someday) because their lives have been shaped by you, and by the people who shaped you.

Knowing your “why” is the breeding ground for meaning and legacy and continuity. It’s what will make your family treasure the gift you’ve given them, and carry it forward through the generations.

My Turn

Why do I want to preserve our family stories?

I want to capture pivotal family stories of good times and bad. I want to name the character traits of key family members, describe traditions, joys, difficulties, and the places where purpose has been found.

I want to write down the stories that show what it means to belong to the Sarkozi family.

Your Turn

Write “Why do I want to preserve our family stories?” at the top of a page in your notebook. Set a timer for 3 minutes and use Focused Freeform Jotting or FFJ to respond.


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