When we are eight years old, we have a sophisticated understanding of narrative. Then over time, in school and at work, many of us bury this knowledge. Yet some people hold onto it. They’re natural storytellers. And they have a special advantage.
Stories inspire us to feel, and that matters because most of the decisions we make in life are emotional – regardless of what we try to tell ourselves. We remember stories. They are specific to people and to places, and they create meaning.
Over two years, we listened to hundreds of Tasmanians in hour-long, one-on-one interviews. Some of them had just arrived. Others told us about connections to this place lasting six generations or sixty thousand years. We wanted to understand why they had chosen Tasmania, what would break their hearts if they had to leave, the source of their pride, their regret, what we had done right together and what we had done wrong. We wanted to understand who we were, at our best, and how we might express it together.
Their stories followed a unifying pattern – a pattern of Tasmanian success.