This article was originally published in Profectus Magazine.

We love the rags-to-riches story, where the protagonist comes from humble beginnings and overcomes numerous obstacles to have an impactful, fulfilling, and lucrative career. I think we are drawn to these stories because, at some level, we recognize that our pasts shape who we become. Ask a successful person how they achieved success, and they will recount how their past shaped them, motivated them, and helped them overcome challenges. Psychological research suggests that these kinds of life stories are a fundamental way people make sense of and find meaning and purpose in their life experiences.