On Thursday night I had one of those nights at a Moth StorySLAM where two sets of judges thought I did quite well and awarded me high scores, but the third judging team disagreed severely (earning a rarely heard chorus of boos from the audience), thus ruining my chances at winning.
I've been fortunate enough to win 30 Moth StorySLAMs, but winning a slam never gets old.
As I was leaving, a fellow storyteller stopped me. He told me that something that I had written about a month ago about the power of incremental progress has really made a difference in his approach to life. He was sincere, thankful, and sweet.
It almost made up for the frustrating night with the judges. Almost.
But here's what I thought as I walked to my car:
When I wrote that post on incremental progress, I didn't think it would have any real impact on anyone. I write these things as much for myself - as sort of a personal mantra - as I do with the hope that someone might benefit from the tiny bits of wisdom that I've gleaned over the years.
I send my thoughts, ideas, and experiences into the world, through books, magazines, blog posts, social media, and live performances, and more often than you could ever imagine, something good and oftentimes surprising comes back.
Sometimes it's a day later. Sometimes it takes a month. There have been times when it's been five years later. It's pretty amazing.
But I'm certainly not the only person who has gleaned a little wisdom over the course of his lifetime. Everyone has, I suspect. We all know things that have helped us to survive and succeed and thrive. Insight, ideas, strategies, personal experiences, and more.
You should share your wisdom with the world. Truly.
Create a blog. Post for Facebook. Write a book. Share your insight at the next dinner party.
We all know stuff that could help others. We've all learned lessons that are worth sharing. We all have ideas and insights worth sending into the world.
You never know when you can help to change a life. Truly.
Sharing your vacation stories with the world is lovely. Baby pictures are always appreciated. Please don't stop sharing your foibles and faux-pas. You successes and failures.
But every now and then, perhaps you could also share some wisdom, too. A life lesson. An understanding of this world that perhaps only you know. A strategy or insight that has helped you survive and thrive.
If you do this, good things will come back. I believe this, because I have experienced it in abundance.
It can turn a frustrating night at The Moth into a good one. It will bring unexpected joy to your heart. It might even create a memory that you will never forget.