Thanks to a couple of my little weekend projects, one of the things I do every week is collect short stories with messages. These are extremely useful and are a recurring activity. In fact, a close friend sends me a story every week. I couldn’t be happier. I am always looking for great short stories.

I began this story quest 3 years ago and I vividly remember being a story ‘hoarder’ in the early days. I would tend to ration these stories. I typically get together 3 draft stories every week and I used to be real careful that I only use 1 story I really like and fill the gaps with 2 not-so-great stories. My thinking was simple – ‘What if I run out?’

I still remember my thought process when I began my job search 3 years ago in university. The job market was still on the edge and jobs were hard to come by. When the search started, I did a lot of research and put together a google spreadsheet with job deadlines and application lists that I kept to myself for a couple of weeks.

It was around then that I was doing my re-reading of 7 Habits book and reading about ‘Think Win Win’, the premise of which is that you have to go in with the abundance mentality i.e. the belief that there’s enough out there for all of us. Only then can you seek win win.

That passage inspired me to share my precious document with friends. I don’t know if any of them ever used it or cared but it sure did liberate me and make me feel great. And of course, three years later, I can confidently confirm that there was enough out there for all of us.

It’s the same with stories. I never ran out. I never have. There have been lean months but I’ve always found stories, one way or another. It’s the belief that counts, I realize.

It’s something I’m taking forward into Real Leader interviews. We’ve exhausted our beginner’s luck (more on that soon) and we’ve hit a wall of some sort. And I realized I was back to my old habits – hoarding potential interviews for fear of running out.

I needed to remind myself last week that I’m only fooling myself. And I shed those inhibitions over the weekend. I don’t know if I will indeed ‘run out’. Maybe I will. Maybe I won’t. But, as one of my many all time-favourite quotes goes..

‘When you are at the beginning, don’t obsess about the middle for the middle will look different when you get there.’