Why stories matter, and how can I find one?

Mudassir Azeemi
5 min readNov 20, 2020
Somewhere in San Francisco, ready to Uber, in my Prius back in 2018.

When you first launch the “Medium” to write, you will see “Tell your story” blinking and staring at you.

I am always curious, why are we so drawn into stories? Why are stories so sticky? And how people can “come up” with so many of them? When we see someone eloquently telling stories, we admire them, appreciate them, and always wonder “how they did it?” and “how they got those stories?”, “is my life boring?”

You know, I was like you, lame-duck-boring-person, then after having some training and understanding the “pattern” behind that “mental chaos,” I am always wondering:

“Why I don’t have any interesting story to tell.”

That fear, I noticed, is typical among those ready to grow their communication skills, but they don’t’ know where to start?

Here is what I have learned so far and still learning (especially bringing emotions in my writings, that’s why my write-ups are so dull):

Events

We are humans, and our life is full of events. Somewhere around in 2018, I started driving Lyft/Uber. I was in the phase of my life where I need to have some extra side-income. You need to follow some dreams, and for that, you need to go some extra miles. During that time, I collected a few interesting stories about my interactions with the passenger. It was a simple folder in an iOS Notes App. You don’t need to be fancy and don’t need to have unique apps or tools. Stay focus on writing and capturing those events. I write those interactions after every ride.

Characters

Continuing with my Lyft/Uber example, I start making notes about those passengers as characters in my events, such as a single mother struggling for her kids and working as a bartender. A drunk, middle-class man who just passed out while blurbing on the back seat. Then there was a person, who shouted at me and started calling my name, all kinds of curse words, just because I was not on the right side of the curb. The party goer group saw my brown skin and my first name on their app and assured me that “don’t worry, we will be not sending you back” (they assumed few things about me, mainly my immigration status). See, I just uncovered so many characters out of my small stint. I am dead sure you…

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Mudassir Azeemi

Finding patterns in chaos. Pioneer of Urdu language on Apple devices! UX/UI Instructor | Speaker | Design Governance Head at Ring Central | Curious