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Don’t Stay in Bed – Story

By October 5, 2016August 12th, 2022No Comments
don't stay in bed story with tidy bedroom, queen size bed

Here is a story from my friend and colleague Greg. He has had the unfortunate diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. When we would meet, he would tell bits and pieces of this self-motivating story, a story about his mindset around his bed. After I started hearing the parts, I realized they really belonged together.

As such, we sat down one day at my Speaker Mastermind group meeting and put it all together. Over the course of the next month, we tweaked it here and there, all the while centering the narrative around “Don’t Stay in Bed.” This was Greg’s personal mantra. Greg now uses this story in his various speaking and training engagements. And more importantly, he uses this story, his story, as a rallying cry to better health.

When you are preparing your stories for your upcoming conference presentation, training program, report to senior management, revising your LinkedIn profile, your opening to your all-hands meeting/town hall, your board at the non profit, or in Greg’s case, his personal story, select experiences that are profound, that are meaningful to you. AND select experiences that will resonate with your audience. Ensure you have an inspiring message, your Better Tomorrow Message™ (BTM), and a compelling call-to-action. Your BTM™ and your call-to-action are the cornerstones to engaging, memorable business stories.

“Don’t Stay in Bed”

How many of you here have heard the saying, “Nothing remains constant except change?” And how many of you believe the real challenge is managing at that speed of change?

Let me tell you about a change I have had to go through recently and the impact it has had on me to inspire you to approach change and transition differently.

About a year ago in July, I accepted a severance package from my current employer, which was long overdue. I was happy to get it, happy to go, and happy to be starting a new chapter in my life. Shortly thereafter, in early August, my in-laws moved in with us. Now, I had a personal challenge to adjust to as well. Two weeks after they moved in, I turned 60. Three different life-changing moments converged, essentially at once.

“a really, really, really big hammer came crashing down on me.”

If that wasn’t enough, a really, really, really big hammer came crashing down on me. I found out I had pancreatic cancer. Over the next few weeks I had to come to grips with the fact I was unemployed, now taking care of my mother in-law and father in-law, I was not as young as I used to be, and I had, what was typically considered to be a death sentence.

How was I going to deal with this? How would you deal with it? All too often I heard stories of too many people imploding, repeating “Woe is me,” and staying in bed.

This is what I did. I believed I was the conqueror. I believed I was going to beat it. I believed in me. I wasn’t staying in bed.

The Bed – It’s More About Your Mindset

I was so sure I wasn’t staying in bed, I renewed my tickets to the Washington Nationals Baseball tickets. Several people asked me, “Why in the world would I do that knowing my situation?” I replied, “Well, my daughter is graduating college in May, and I know I’m going to be there for that. After the baseball season is over, my son is making his confirmation and I know I’m going to be there for that. So… I know I’m going to be there for the baseball games.”

On the business side, I incorporated two new companies to give myself direction and a horizon to follow.

I can’t tell you everything I did or didn’t do. It’s more about your mindset. Are you going to win the battle? Or are you going to let it consume you? Are you going to hold back the monster? Or are you going to let it eat you? Are you going to stay in bed? Or are you going to face change, as an opportunity?

Believe in yourself, and whatever you do, Don’t Stay In Bed!


Within this story are a variety of figures of speech to improve impact, to help you be more memorable, and to inspire action in your audiences. Read our articles on these figures of speech directly below. Then analyze the stories posted on The Chief Storyteller® and other favorite sites of yours. Read and listen how others use figures of speech to strengthen their stories. Apply your new learning to strengthen your stories for narrative content, body language, and public speaking delivery.

Figures of Speech include Anadiplosis, Anaphora, Asyndeton, Epiphora, Epizeuxis, and Onomatopoeia.

Interested in (dramatically) improving your storytelling, public speaking, or communication skills?

Ira Koretsky

Ira Koretsky has built The Chief Storyteller® into one of the most recognized names in communication, especially business storytelling. He has delivered over 500 keynote presentations and workshops in nearly a dozen countries, in more than one hundred cities, across 30 plus industries. His specialties are simplifying the complex and communicating when the stakes are high. He is also an adjunct professor in public speaking and storytelling at the University of Maryland's Business School. With over 25 years of experience, he is a sought-after storytelling coach, global speaker, trainer, consultant, communication coach, and public speaking coach.