Study your S.T.O.R.Y.

psycho dentistThe cure for commonness begins with strength extraction.”[1] Thus said Max Lucado in this week’s installment of our summer reading program.

What, exactly, is “strength extraction”? It sounds like a terrifying dental appointment with a vigorous, pliers-wielding dentist.

However, according to Lucado; strength extraction is actually something wonderful. It’s what happens when you identify your S.T.O.R.Y. by asking and answering the following five questions:

  1. What are your strengths? What “verbs” best describe your aptitudes—for instance, running, jumping, fixing, writing, or relating?
  2. What is your topic? What “nouns” are attached to your “verbs”? In other words, where and with whom and in what setting do you prefer to run, jump, fix, write, or relate?
  3. What is your optimalcondition? People can run, jump, fix, write, and relate in myriads of settings and conditions—which ones are ideal for you?
  4. What about relationships? What are your preferred relationship patterns? Do you work best alone or in a group? If in a group, do you like to chime in from the sideline or lead the parade? Are you a collaborator or a solo inventor. There isn’t a wrong answer to the question, but you do need to answer it.
  5. Yes! Identify some of your “Yes!” moments when your strengths, topics, optimal conditions, and relational preferences all came together to form a sweet spot that made you feel alive and flooded with destiny.

Life inside that spot—at the center of your S.T.O.R.Y.—is anyting but common!


Grace Church summer reading program, The Cure for the Common Life, Chapter Four: “Sudy your S.T.O.R.Y.”


[1] Max Lucado, The Cure for the Common Life, Thomas Nelson Publishing, 2005, 32.

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