A refreshingly creative debut that focuses on taking control of one’s life.
Life coach deHart lays out a contemporary method for achieving “self-awareness and self-mastery”; she calls it “StoryJacking,” a clever term that might suggest elevating one’s own life story or, potentially, “hijacking” one’s thinking to shift “internal dialogue.” Each of the four sections—“You are Whole,” “You are Capable,” “You are Resourceful,” and “You are Creative”—contains brief chapters with lots of positive, empowering messages interlaced with exercises, analogies, and numerous examples from the author’s experience coaching clients. The first section explores broad concepts, such as the psyche and how the mind works, and enumerates the StoryJacking steps. Section 2 explores self-actualization through visualization, making choices, expanding awareness, and “archetypes” that are “characters in our internal story.” In the third section, deHart encourages readers to create a personal story using tools that are clearly introduced and described, like the “Locus of Control” and the “Emotional Distress Road Map.” The final section, the shortest, reinforces the flexibility of the tools and discusses creative approaches to StoryJacking. Throughout, deHart gently prods and at times exhorts readers to take control of their stories, noting that “the hardest thing that you will ever do is get out of your own way.” This is typical of her candid, perceptive counsel; the best advice is neatly enclosed in her self-proclaimed “super-secrets of the universe”; for example, “The longest and most intimate relationship you will have in your entire life is the one you will have with yourself.” deHart’s breezy style and natural storytelling skills keep things moving along.
Heady, insightful content packaged in a non-threatening, engaging manner; includes ample opportunity for the dedicated reader to consider life-altering directions.
The vast majority of people are discontented with their life in some way. This isn’t some statistic I can quote; it’s just a part of the human condition, with the small side effect of leading to an industry of self-help books, each with their own gimmick. Most of the time I think of a gimmick as a negative thing, something which is just there to draw a reader’s attention, but I recently found out that it isn’t entirely bad. I tend not to be too interested in self-help books, but I picked up StoryJacking because its particular gimmick is one that intrigued me: life is a story, and we have the power to rewrite it.
Part of why this description drew me in is because I’m a writer, but you don’t need to have any actual writing experience to get something out of the book. The author laid out her idea in plain, simple language, and her friendly, conversational style kept me engaged throughout. The basic idea is that viewing our life as a story gives us more power over it than if we view it as a series of random events. We need to see ourselves as the authors of our tales rather than as just passive, powerless bystanders. We can’t be all-powerful – there will still be random events that life can throw at us – but if we see sudden changes as “plot twists” rather than as obstacles, we can feel empowered to work through them.
I read StoryJacking in order, in as close to one sitting as I could (because that’s how I’ve always read books), but I think if I were to read it again, I’d get the most out of it by taking more time with it. If the idea of life as a story resonates with you enough to buy this book, pause after each chapter and think about whether you could use it to help you and how. If a chapter particularly resonates with you, dog-ear the page or stick a piece of paper at the start so you can go back to it.
And remember: events only have as much power as we allow them to. Even after I forget the rest of this book, I’ll remember that.
It is not everyday that I can say a book affected my life in a way that was profound, impactful, and inspirational the way Lyssa Danehy deHart’s did. But the truth of the matter is everyone needs to get storyjacked.
Storyjacking can be summed up as a road map to living the best of your life. Think of this book as your personal navigational GPS system. We all have a final destination. There can be many different routes to get to where you want to go, the longest, fastest, or the in-between. Either way, you alone will make that choice on which way to go. It’s your life. Right? And in the case of this book, Lyssa Danehy deHart gives you the option to storyjack your life. You decide what is the best route. She is not here to tell you to take the fastest route or the longest or whatever, but she is that GPS voice telling you, DECIDE. Go create that life you want, that story. Go decide who the players and non-existent players in your life are. You make the call. It’s your story, so storyjack it and don’t let anyone dictate or tell your story.
While maintaining a sense of sensitivity, Lyssa is brutally honest and raw. She does not sugarcoat things in a complex labyrinth of words but instead tells you the way it is. Think of her as your personal life coach, screaming, telling, and talking to you in a way to help you understand that we all have a purpose, a story to be told. For others, some stories are relatable, funny, poignant, and fulfilling. Either way, the only important thing is that it was memorable. Lyssa engages her readers to feel the magnitude and profoundness of the ordinary words that make up our life, or in this case our story–bold words and actions that pack a one-two punch.
Storyjacking is a cornucopia of raw, brutal honesty, wisdom, humor, and life lessons. She allows readers to see beyond the once-upon-a-time, the happily-ever-afters, and the end. Life is about filling your story with chapters that define you and make you happy. The end goal is not reaching that part in the book that says “the end.” Instead, it’s that epilogue… and the second epilogue that follows…and then the third, and so on. Storyjacking is a book that doesn’t end. It is a book that continues to gift readers like myself wisdom, integrity, and strength. So are you ready to get storyjacked?