Beyond the Bubble: Share Your Story, Have an Impact

By Bill Blankschaen, Chief Story Architect

We are blown upon the world. We float buoyant upon the summer air a little while, complacently showing off our grace of form and our dainty iridescent colors. Then we vanish with a little puff, leaving nothing behind but a memory. And sometimes not even that. I suppose that these solemn times when we wake in the depth of a night and reflect, there is not one of us who is not willing to confess to only being a soap bubble and as little worth the making.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                —Mark Twain, Author

Mark Twain was cynical long before Seinfeld made it cool. Let’s face it—he would not make a good life coach.

Mark Twain’s Cynical Wisdom

Mark Twain painted a picture of life as brief, transient, and easily forgotten. He suggests that most people, in a moment of vulnerability, would resonate with feeling like a bubble, drifting without substance or lasting impact.

Many of us are living a soap-bubble life. We’re busy, but we’re empty. 

Coasting vs. Contributing

When we confront the reality of living a busy but empty soap bubble of a life, we realize it brings with it certain dangers.

The danger is in the coasting. Coasting only goes in one direction. 

Generally speaking, you wake up one day to find that you’re drifting downstream, or you’ve taken on a victim mentality, or you’re just trying to avoid discomfort while running out the clock on life.

That’s a soap-bubble life.

What we want is a life of meaning—a life of significance.

Dancing vs. Drifting

Walt Whitman said, “The powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse” to humanity’s song. 

That’s something deeper, something more powerful, something more than soap bubbles.

Music dictates the mood. It lifts spirits. 

Most of us are familiar with the pull of a good song. We start to tap our toes or our pencils. Maybe we sing along and bob our heads. When the time is right, we burst into a full dance.

Dancing is the opposite of drifting.

As you navigate your daily routines, consider how you can elevate your existence beyond the soap bubble. Embrace the idea of contributing to the world around you—where every action becomes a note in the symphony of life. 

From business duties to mundane tasks, find ways to add value and meaning, not just to your own work and life, but to that of those around you.

Choose to Dance

Bubbles are light and airy and fun to chase, but their appeal only lasts for so long before they pop, and life goes on.

Living in a bubble may have its appeal—we don’t leave our comfort zone; there are no real challenges to face; we know what to expect. But just like any bubble, that sort of life has no real impact on the outside world.

The soap bubble life may be alluring in its simplicity, but true and lasting fulfillment lies in a life of meaning. Meaning is often found in the challenges. Challenges are only found outside of the bubble.

Share Your Verse

Take a chance, embrace the symphony, and contribute a verse to the powerful play of life.

As you reflect on Mark Twain’s soap bubble metaphor, let it catalyze action. Let it be the spark to becoming more than a fleeting bubble. But don’t stop there.

Craft a life that resonates with purpose, significance, and the enduring melody of humanity’s song. Then share it in your own voice—whether through writing, art, speaking, teaching.

Your verse matters. Your story matters. Never get so caught up in your bubble that you forget to leave your mark on the world.

This blog is based on Bill Blankschaen’s session at the 2023 Summit of Greatness entitled “Live a Story Worth Telling and Supercharge Your Brand, Business, or Side Hustle.”