Have you ever heard a story that changed your life? I know I have.
There is a reason why Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen have sold over 100 million copies of their Chicken Soup for the Soul book series.
Why? Because people LOVE stories, and that is what these books do great! They share fun, inspiring, moving stories that you can truly learn from.
You know one of the many interesting things about these books? In earlier drafts before they got published Jack and Mark used to include what lessons you could learn from each story, but in testing they found that a majority of people had no interest in seeing or reading what they thought they should learn. Readers just wanted to take in the story and interpret the lesson for themselves.
I love that! The reality is we all have our own tainted “glasses” we view the world through, based on all of our individual experiences, and we each can get something completely different from the same story. That is one of the reasons having conflicts in life is unavoidable, unless you simply don’t interact with anyone. Because what you say and hear can be completely different than what the other person hears or thought they said.
Ok, I don’t want to get too far off the point. What I really want to discuss are stories, and how important other people’s sobriety stories are to your recovery. Then I want to share with you three great (and FREE) resources that can have a profound impact on you thriving in sobriety for life!
First, why are other people’s stories so valuable as resource for your recovery?
There are two main reasons that I believe Alcoholics Anonymous helped save my life, and to me today these are still two of the most valuable things you can get by stepping into an A.A. meeting. The great news is you don’t have to step into an A.A. meeting to get this, and I will show you how in this article. But first let’s discuss those two benefits that played such an important role in my sobriety.
First, you get to actually see, hear and believe it is possible to completely recover from alcoholism or addiction. There is nothing more powerful then that belief and what it can help you accomplish in life. We often hold ourselves back by limiting beliefs, or beliefs that only stop us from trying new things, as you probably remember from the first E-Book I sent you when you signed up for the Sobriety Starter Kit. If you do not believe you can get sober, you will NEVER attempt to get sober.
Stories help build this belief, better than anything I know!
Second, you realize you are not alone with your struggles. This finally allows you to get over the shame and embarrassment that comes with alcoholism and addiction and all the failed attempts at getting sober. Once you can get over the guilt and shame you can actually start down the pathway to lasting recovery. But if you get held up on your guilt and shame you will always live life in the past, never being able to move forward with the new sober you.
When I first started to go to A.A. meetings I looked up all the speaker meetings I could find nearby and primarily attended only those. The A.A. website is great about giving you the ability to find specific types of meetings like these. I did this because I knew how well I responded to hearing and seeing other people share their story. They inspired me and taught me valuable lessons.
Then I found this other amazing resource soon after that, http://xa-speakers.org/. This is a site where you can download the speakers speeches from recorded meetings so you can listen to them in your car, home or wherever.
When I launched The Sobriety Solution website I wanted to take this a step further. You see I loved listening to the stories, but I REALLY loved being able to see and get a better idea of who was sharing the story. I am a big fan of supporting anonymity, and the anonymous nature of A.A., but for me being able to connect on a more personal level really helped me get value from the stories. So that is why on my site I share Inspiring Stories of Recovery from mostly individuals that are open about who they are. I believe this really adds to the value you can get from their stories.
Last, I want to discuss another great website and one that I highly recommend. The site is http://lifeafter.drugfree.org/ and it is run by Partnership for a Drug-Free America. What is great about the site is that in its upper right (see the screenshot below), you can select the recovery story that fits or interests you and then browse through them. Each story is unique, and gives you great advice and ideas.
I do have a bit of advice when listening or reading these stories, as just the act of listening is not enough to make a profound difference in your recovery (at least without doing other work).
The key to getting a lot out of doing this is to look for similarities in others’ stories compared with your own, and take what you can learn and apply it in your life. And then, write down in your journal what you learned. One of the biggest mistakes I see people make is focus on the differences, and that doesn’t do you any good!
What I love most about learning through stories is that doing so is enjoyable. For me, learning doesn’t feel like work or effort; rather, it is just something fun for me to do, and if I take another step and note what is meaningful to me from a story, I get more value for my life in sobriety.
So there you have it, 3 great resources for you to use that I have no doubt can help you along your pathway to sobriety.
I wanted to finish this article with a bit more about Jack Canfield, as I think you will find it interesting. I had the great opportunity to meet him a while back and discuss with him my 30-Day Sobriety Solution. Below is a picture I got taken with him, albeit not my favorite as I was traveling that whole day and on very little sleep, but it was still a great privilege to have this opportunity.
What was exciting was he was very interested for several reasons. First, he has two kids in recovery, and if you have spent time on my inspiring stories blog you might remember seeing Oran Canfield’s interview (1 of his 2 sons in recovery). It is an amazing story, so I recommend listening to the interview and/or picking up his memoir.
The other thing that was great to discuss was how many of his “success principles” from his recent New York Times bestselling book The Success Principles fit so well with many parts of what I teach in The 30-Day Sobriety Solution.
He recently launched a new site and discussed with me the interest that he felt like a modern program like mine was great and that he might want to put it up on his new site so he asked me to send him a proposal. Of course I sent him a detailed one, so who knows, you might see The 30-Day Sobriety Solution get in the spotlight soon. Of course that is one of my dreams, to be able to reach as many people as I can with this program, as I know the positive impact it can have with people that are trying to recover.
Speaking of that, tomorrow I am excited to share with you 3 personal stories, and actual audio interviews, with people that today are thriving in sobriety due to using The 30-Day Sobriety Solution. I think you will really enjoy it, and learn from it, so watch your inbox tomorrow.
Here’s to your success thriving in sobriety!