Tell your story

December 8, 2022

By Jeff Becraft


Back when I was in my early 20’s, I heard a guy speak at a camp and he gave a message that he called “The 7 D’s of success.” One person described it as a “canned speech”… and I had to ask someone else what a canned speech was.

But I took notes on the message and when I was invited to speak to high school groups and what not, I would give “The 7 D’s of success.” I would tell groups, “I heard a guy give this message and I wrote down what he said.”

Then I was listening to some cassette tapes (does anybody remember those… you know, when it got jumbled in the cassette player and came out looking like an accordion and you would have to rewind it with a pencil eraser?… and then it would sound jumbled whenever you played it again and hit that part?) that someone had given me, and this other guy used some tremendous illustrations.

Later that night, I mentioned this to Brenda and told her how this guy’s illustrations were so great and how relevant they were. We were 25, newly married, and in our first apartment.

And then Brenda said something to me… “Why don’t you come up with your own stories?”

My first reaction was: “But everyone likes ‘The 7 D’s of success’… why stop using that?” But then I took to heart what she said.

And because of Brenda’s comment, challenge, and encouragement, for decades I have been telling people stories from my own life. It became more than a message or speech… it was passing on life principles by sharing part of my life.

Each of us has a story. And we may not even think that our story is very glamorous. But it is our story. And you would be surprised at how many relevant points and principles are in your story. Just like the lesson I learned from my Dad that I shared last week. My Dad didn’t know that that was something I would hang on to the rest of my life. (But I told him about it when I talked with him on the phone this week.)

There are people all around us… and particularly the next generation… that need to hear your story and to hear what you have gained and learned. Don’t worry about the glamour… real life is real life.

And when that story comes from a real life, it can shift someone else’s life.

Tell your story… there may be someone listening who can connect with what you are sharing.


Jeff Becraft is the Interim Director of Our Place of Hope and the Director Emeritus for Youth Corps and has dedicated much of his life to helping shift the vision of people’s lives. Youth Corps is a life-changing leadership development experience that inspires high school students to be leaders in the Midlands and beyond. You can connect with Jeff at [email protected].