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  • Writer's pictureRain Bennett

Ep. 121: Making Today the Day with Matthew Dicks

Matthew Dicks is an internationally bestselling author, podcaster, co-founder of Speak Up, and a 53-time Moth StorySLAM champion and 7-time Moth GrandSLAM champion. Many might think he's just an over-achiever, but as he proves in his new book, Someday is Today, it really just comes down to time management. And we all have the same amount of time each day.

In this episode of The Storytelling Lab, Matthew gives you all his tips and tricks to making the most out of each minute and moving the needle closer to his goal.



I have lots of goal and dreams.

You may have many yourself. And if you're like me, somedays (or maybe all the days), you struggle to prioritize the tasks you need to accomplish to execute those dreams and make them a reality.

And then the problem that creates is that you put them off until later.

You say things like, "Oh, I'll try to write some tomorrow." or "I'm too busy, I'll starting painting again when I have time." or "Someday I'm going to start my own business."

But then someday never comes.

It's a tale as old as time and this week on my show, I had a conversation with Matthew Dicks, who literally wrote the book on how to maximize the little moments in your-already busy days, so you can chip away at the little tasks needed to achieve those dreams.

And once you make that a habit, someday becomes today.

Matthew Dicks is an internationally bestselling author, podcaster, co-founder of Speak Up, and a 53-time Moth StorySLAM champion and 7-time Moth GrandSLAM champion.

I first learned about his work from his nonfiction book, Storyworthy.

In it he talked about the formulas he followed to tell award-winning stories, what people responded to most in great stories, and even how the arc of each movie you love can really be boiled down to one five-second moment.

But the best thing I learned from that book wasn't so much about storytelling itself (though it did help my ability to capture little stories through my day), but rather it was a life lesson

Hell, it was a life-improver!

Matthew created an exercise called "Homework for Life" where you write down a simple story from each day of your life. Just a few bullet points that allow you to recall it easier. It teaches you how to spot little stories that you can tell later.

But it really teaches you how to hold onto special moments in your life that you would have otherwise forgotten.

This, I realized after talking to Matthew, is what he has figured out that most of us haven't: simple little actions you can take each day that have profound effects.

This is how he has written like 10 books, hosts a podcast, runs a storytelling organization, consults with companies, and competes in national storytelling competitions—ALL while holding down a day job as an elementary school teacher.

Hey makes his "someday" happen every day.

But that's because he doesn't view those dreams as goals as huge mountains that must be scaled and will take all the effort and inspiration he can muster.

That is the type of thought that will keep you putting off your dream forever.

"Once you start to accept the reality that small positive decisions repeated over time will pile up into enormous results, what happens is a far-reaching goal become much more reachable when we realize that it's 1000 steps. Which mean if you make one today, now you only have 999 more.”

Each podcast I release, I cut short little videos teasers for. It's usually around three to four. For this episode, I cut 10—the most in the history of The Storytelling Lab—and I even had to stop myself form exporting more.

That's because just like his "Homework for Life" and all his other tips, each soundbite he uttered packed a lifetime of value.

And not vague advice, either. The type of advice that you can immediately apply as soon as you hear it.

They call those golden nuggets, y'all.

And this episode is chock full of 'em.

If you're tired of dreaming about that thing in your heart and ready to start MAKING it real, this is the episode for you!


Some of the highlights of our conversation:

  • "The Spotlight Effect" and how everyone thinks they're being watched

  • Our tendency to lead a life of least resistance and how to stop that

  • Setting your goals as a horizon that you can't quite see, not a point

  • The first step to taking action on your dream

  • How (and why) to fill those 10 minutes holes in your day

  • The soldiers in WWI writing in trenches and what you can learn from them

  • Creativity doesn't have to be linear. Start with the part you love.

  • Why he decides not to watch Stranger Things 90% of the time

  • Building up momentum on your task

  • Are all people creative?

  • How we identify creativity and why we get it wrong

  • The value of practicing creativity and what it adds to your life

  • How being held at gunpoint changed his life forever

  • His "100-yr-old plan" and how to use it to achieve your dreams

  • His "Homework for Life" exercise and the TRUE benefit

  • How to tell a fiction story vs a nonfiction story

  • What the personal development junkies can learn from fictional stories

  • Why each movie is really just one single 5-second moment

As always, I hope you enjoy the episode!

Peace and Love,



Follow Matthew on:

Or visit his website here!

For more storytelling tips and tricks,

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