Dave Isay and the Power of Story

I had the pleasure of meeting Dave Isay, Founder of StoryCorps, in Austin at a book signing in 2007, shortly after he released his book, Listening Is an Act of Love – A Celebration of American Life from the StoryCorps Project. There are two people I look up to in admiration for demonstrating the utilization of their talents: one is Steven Spielberg; the other is Dave Isay. Like most of you, I knew of Steven Spielberg and his work back then. I knew little of Dave Isay.

TED Prize Winner Dave Isay speaks at TED2015.

Rather than trying to describe who Dave Isay is and what he has accomplished, this TED Talk will explain it beautifully: https://tinyurl.com/y9f9tegb. He really gets the power of story…and has created a platform for proving it. In the process, he has also created a mindset regarding the importance of story. Yet, most people will never record their stories or those of their loved ones.

I hope to change that with the work I do at LifeStories Alive https://lifestoriesalive.com. If you are not moved to go out and record the stories of a loved one by Dave Isay’s TED Talk, I have two suggestions:

  1. Hire a professional to do it for you. I can help with that. How would Dave Isay’s story be different if he hadn’t thought to record his father’s stories before he died? You might be saying to yourself, “Yea, but Dave is a professional at gathering stories.” You’re right. He is. But using that as an excuse for not recording the stories of your own parents does not eliminate the risk of burying their stories with them when they die. You must act now. That leads me to my second suggestion.
  2.  If you don’t want to hire a professional to do it for you, but don’t know where to begin to do it yourself, buy the book I authored and released a few weeks ago, A Conversation You’ll Never Forget – A Guide to Capturing a LifeStory https://tinyurl.com/ConversationYoullNeverForget. In it, you’ll learn a step-by-step process to do it yourself.

StoryCorps and the work Dave Isay has done over the years is remarkable. Imagine, however, if each of those 100,000 stories was captured on video instead of just audio. Not only would you hear the voices, but the voices would come alive as you saw the mannerisms and felt the emotion of the people telling the stories. That’s why I encourage you to capture the stories on video.

Dave Isay taught you the power of story in the video above. Now it’s up to you. Keep those LifeStories alive. It will be a conversation you’ll never forget!


I Thought I Would Learn About Classical Music…

I thought I would learn about classical music, but ended up learning about life. This is my conclusion after listening to yet another great TED Talk. This one is by Benjamin Zander. To prove to you how little I knew about classical music, I didn’t know who the hell Benjamin Zander is! I do now. Since 1979, Benjamin Zander has been the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic.

What impressed me most about this talk is how he used a lesson in classical music appreciation (and, by the way, I now appreciate classical music) and turned it into, at the very end, a lesson in life. I will not tell you what he says at the end. It is worth watching this all the way through. I will only tell you this: It reinforces the power of a well-told story…a well-told life story!

Please take the time to watch this: http://tinyurl.com/ntqr4 on and then let me know what you think.


A Blog About Blogging

To blog or not to blog? That was the question a few months ago when I started this blog. I didn’t know what the purpose of a blog was, and, quite frankly, am still learning. I have just heard a great explanation on a “TED Talk” (http://www.ted.com/), one of my favorite places to visit for intelligent, random information. The discussion was about blogging and conducted by Mena Trott (http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/mena_trott_tours_her_blog_world.html).

I originally started this blog because I was told, or thought, it would be good for my business, LifeStories Alive (http://www.lifestoriesalive.com/). After watching and listening to Mena’s TED talk, I have learned a couple of important things about blogs. The first is that most blogs are stories about what’s going on in the lives of the authors. Stories are what my business is built on. Stories are what make life interesting, and apparently, could be interesting enough to affect the lives of others (strangers to me) in positive ways. That alone is an intriguing enough reason to do this thing called blogging.

The second important thing I learned about blogging is that it is public, meaning that anyone can read it. I think they call that “open source”. That fact, at first, was a scary thing, but I soon realized that the clarification gave me comfort in knowing that it’s okay not to write in it every day. Friends were encouraging me to write in my blog every day, or more often than not. Why? Because the more you write, the more you have a chance of being noticed on search engines like Google. More important to me, however, is the notion that there are some things that I have on my mind in a given day that are private, and should be kept that way … even if it means less exposure on Google.

I have never in my life been a daily journal writer. I have, however, discovered the importance of writing thoughts down when I feel they are important enough to document. The mission of my business, to capture and preserve the life stories of loved ones for future generations, is too important to let my thoughts go unwritten or unread. I will, therefore, continue to write in this blog … but not on a daily basis.

For those reading this blog I express my thanks. Please feel free to comment and share your thoughts. I appreciate what you have to say.

Until then, happy blogging!