Maybe narratives are a sort of storage optimization solution. I can’t remember everything so a narrative is created to remember the thing.
Tom Brady hasn’t always been Tom Brady. “We’ve gone back and retrograded 2006 and 2007,” said Eric Eager, “and when we retrograded ’06, Peyton Manning was something like two standard deviations from anybody else. Tom Brady at the time was just kind of average. It was remarkable to see. We’ve grown accustomed to seeing Tom Brady as this great player and probably one of the best of all-time, and when we turned on the tape it wasn’t quite that way.”
Jack Bogle hasn’t always been Jack Bogle.
Lastly, Native deodorant per Sam Parr, hasn’t always been a mission driven company. Founder Moiz Ali was looking for a business to start and ended up on deodorant thanks to his pregnant sister and unit economics. He wanted a business with repeat purchases and minimal shipping costs. Mattresses didn’t fit the bill but deodorant did.
We are narrative creatures, and these narratives are true but they are not the full story. Maybe the way to think about origin stories is like a movie trailer: it’s a short way to communicate the gist.