An Yearful of #1MinuteStories

It started with ‘May the Fourth Be With You’. Today, a post full of gratitude.

Yes. Been away for a couple of weeks. All is well at our end and thank you for checking in.

I hope and pray that you and your loved ones are getting through these grim times with a good measure of hope for better times.

I was keen to put my efforts where I can make a tangible difference in these times. Safe and locked up as I am, for now, the best I could offer was a safe space for anyone to reach out and talk their anxieties through. I put out this post on Linkedin last week:

Happy to share that many have reached and I got to listen to their stories. Am grateful for the opportunity to be an ally in their journey in these times. If there is anyone who needs a ‘listen’ or a safe space to talk, please help me to get this word around to them.

Exactly a year back, on the 4th of May 2020, the pandemic was raging at a different level. A lot milder and less virulent. It was also a period when many of us were presented with the time and space to dig deep into our own selves and get started on doing things that we had put off.

I was watching this episode of the Big Bang Theory in which Sheldon and his gang are celebrating the Star Wars Day. It got me curious as to how May the 4th. Remember, you will always get a story when you ask – ‘How, What, When and Where’. Not always you will get a story by asking ‘Why’. Anyways, my curiosity inspired the search and digging. In about an hour, I wrote what I learnt into a post on Linkedin. Here it is.

It eventually became the first of the #1MinuteStories blog: May the Fourth Be With You.

I messaged my best friend on an idea that struck as I posted that:

You can tell from those typos that I was way too excited. It was the evening of May the Fourth. I first came up with ‘Monday Stories’ as the tag name. Within an hour, I changed it to #1MinuteStories.

That’s how a combination of my Best Friend, George Lucas and Star Wars got me started.

The next few stories followed a similar pattern like the Star Wars – George Lucas origin story. I wrote on my favourite brandshistoric personalitiesdiseases and medical miracles. And many more. But I promised myself that every single story would be authentic – not original, mind you, but researched and authentic with due credit given to the source.

It is a credo that #1MinuteStories will always live by.

And then I shared some of my own stories that got noticed. Some of them went massively viral – the story of sareeon my old salesman friend Srinithe one on Parle GBeirut bombings and the one on the Cadbury’s cricket film.

And just like that in a year, there are now 60 incredible stories. Every story taught me something. Helped me grow as a person. Every story was a project in itself. Made me research, read books at a great speed, do background checks on the facts and anti-stories.

As it progressed, I challenged myself to take up tougher plots. And still live up the credo of the #1MinuteStories – stories you’ll take about a minute to read – but will stay with you way longer. Stories that you can retell, to influence, engage and inspire.

Thank you, dear reader, for choosing to be on this story journey with me. Thank you for your support and encouragement that you have given me all along the way.

Some 30 stories into the journeym, some of you reached out to me in ways which pumped my enthusiasm even higher.

Trust you are doing good ! I just thought of letting you know that I love your Monday stories ! Sometimes I do share it in my sessions … you must write a blog where one can always go and refer … keep sharing! ‘

‘Am a big fan of your short 1 min stories and follow it.’

‘Love your 1 minute reads Uday. 1 Minute read, thought provoking for days

We are just getting started. And a lot of stories to tell.

But one thing I will commit to you is to be more disciplined and regular with this newsletter. It has been way too random. From today. #1MinuteStories will hit you every Tuesday and Saturday.

Writing and working on #1MinuteStories has transformed my life. It has helped me grow into my new identity as a Storyteller. I never knew who a ‘Story Coach’ was, a year before.

Now, I live that by working with people to tell their stories better.

Before I wrap this up, I have a request. Please spread the word about the #1MinuteStories Newsletter and help me grow this story community. Do tell as many people as possible who you know will enjoy this. Please share this link below and get them to subscribe.

The times are grim and we will get through this.

Meanwhile, #1MinuteStories will always find a way to take your mind away to a better place and leave you with something worth looking forward for – a story of inspiration, innovation and courage. Or just a dose of good old humour and trivia.

Stay Safe.

May the Fourth Be With You

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