Why be clear?
Underneath the furniture of everyday life, there are the stories we tell ourselves. About who we are. About what we must do. About what we can’t do. And, most of the time, we navigate our lives in the territory these stories allow.
How do we engage with those stories? Indirectly, through buying things that say something about us? Voyeuristically, by watching other people’s stories play out in literature or TV? Therapeutically, by calling on a professional to give us a window into ourselves?
Or directly - recognising ourselves as the authors of those stories - with the power to create them, rewrite them, forget them. Showing people that they are (already) the authors of their own life stories. This is the work I do.
The commitments we make over a lifetime pile up like a hoarder’s attic. Some long forgotten. Some treasured but neglected. Some never should have been kept in the first place.
Sometimes we work, we live, on autopilot. Doing things not because we need to, but because we’ve done them before.
Sometimes the stories we hold about the world are held so tightly that we can barely even see the world as it is.
Seeing the world as it is - that is the outcome of the work I do.
And here is what I have learned:
Everyone always knows what to do. Right now. Tomorrow. In their whole lives. They don’t always know they know, but they always know.
There is a real *discipline* to working well with our stories. How do you choose what story to tell? How do you track down the stories you don’t even know you’re holding on to and living by? How do you get all of the different stories you have - about yourself, your life, the world - to fit together?
I know the answers to all these questions. And I teach them to people in the simplest ways I can. I ask people what they need. I ask what is standing in the way. I ask them what they are responsible for. We talk about work and life and money and relationships and *everything*.
But the work isn’t about me being in the room asking good questions. The work is about creating the tools, the guides, the language, the culture that mean everyone is able to see and work with their own stories such that they get to live and love living and get what they need and give what they have to give. I have made a simple set of tools. I teach people to use them and they work. In global organisations. In yoga classes. As careers advice. In marriage counselling. In sales. For entrepreneurs. For artists. For everyone.
And I do this because I see that as a species we are bursting with genius. And I see that we barely know how to make use of it. How to draw it out of ourselves and each other. But *we need it*. We need to understand how to live here, with each other. Or everyone dies.
And I will do this work my whole life. I have been a journalist, a stand-up comic, a business consultant, a poet, a campaign designer. But this has always been my work. Illuminating the true nature of life and its beauty. And in the future I may run a theatre, I may sing soul music, I may run a vast global business. But, whatever it looks like from the outside, this will always be what I’m doing.
Charles Davies, 9th July 2018