“In the end, we’ll all become stories”
Lead Coach and Facilitator at Choose Leadership | Working with Purpose Driven Leaders and Organisations
black and white photo pf man leaning back against a railing in front of Niagara Falls

“In the end, we’ll all become stories.”

This quotation from Margaret Atwood has been in my ear, like a song you hear that you can’t stop humming. It landed in December and hasn’t gone away. 

I shared this with a friend who recently lost a parent and they remarked that “I tell stories about Mom all the time now. She’s still alive in my heart.”

I recall people who have had a big impact in the world – created things that have changed lives. They have had a real impact on others’ lives. And they are still stories.

I suspect my son’s grandchildren, if he has any, will be the last who will remember me. And that feels ok.

I don’t experience a need to be remembered, in part because I won’t be around to hear the story. My ego has come to terms with this.

What feels important right now is to make a difference in the present.

I’ve decided that what that means for me is to grow leaders and support them to thrive. (One of the stories I tell myself is that this matters.)

I find myself out of step with much of the world around me right now. I haven’t set goals for 2024. I don’t have a vision board. I don’t have a plan.

I do have a sense of purpose. I am doing my inner leadership work and that entails noticing all the ways in which I have already become a story to myself. And I am connected to my agency.

That feels like enough to set out into 2024 in good spirits and live my purpose in the world.

Note: Thank you Dad for posing in front of Niagara Falls in 1966 and having the picture taken in black and white. You’re now 79 and not done writing your story.

For leadership coaching and developement, get in touch

You might also like…

Vows and Forgiveness
Vows and Forgiveness

David Whyte’s 1996 poem, All the True Vows, from The House of Belonging, calls us forth into the world. Its first line, “All the true vows are secret vows”, poses an inquiry for leaders: What are the secret vows you have sworn? These vows are no idle covenants. They...

The Sound of Silence
The Sound of Silence

I have always misheard one of the famous lines in Simon and Garfunkel's “The Sound of Silence”, as: “the words of the prophets are written on the subway walls, Tiananmen falls.”, rather than as “and tenement halls.” Just as I have always deeply misunderstood the...

The Beginning of a Leadership Journey
The Beginning of a Leadership Journey

“That’s not me! I would never do that! And yet, I did do that, didn’t I?” And so a leadership journey begins. It is not uncommon for coaching clients to experience themselves saying or doing something which generates a feeling of embarrassment. While they share what...

Share This