Telling Stories

A photo of an old type writer with focus on the text

If someone asked you who you are and where you see yourself going, you would tell them a story. The past might include many facts as you recalled them and the future story might be related to who you think you are and what you think is possible. Both are just stories. You see, people think that how they remember the past was in fact how it happened. They don’t consider that our memory is biased, that we have a socio-cultural bent to our future—rather, we take them as 100% fact.
What if our stories are too limited? What if we opened our vision to new possibilities? What if we peaked over the horizon that brought us to a new edge of being? What if we re-imagined who we are and where we can go? Doesn’t that add passion and engagement to our worlds? I believe it does.

One reason we get stuck is because we feel that we’re the consequences of our parents, society, employer, genetics, intelligence, education, etc. We’ve all heard it before, and the version goes something like this: I was born to these parents…that’s how I was brought up and that limits who I can be…I only have this education and therefore I have limits on what I can do….I’m too old or too young…I’m not smart enough to (fill-in the blank) so I can never be (fill-in the blank). But then, don’t we all know people that went beyond their limitations? I think about Richard Branson who has over 500 businesses even though he is severely dyslexic, the tenaciousness of Reed Hasting of Netflix as he overcame fierce competition of Blockbuster, Elon Musk and many others without a college education, and Oprah who overcame sexual abuse and the death of her son to become one of the most influential women in the world. These people told themselves a story of empowerment, perseverance, and possibility—then achieved.

Is it time to re-tell your story? To take responsibility more fully, if not for the events, but for your perceptions of these events? Life, as we all know, is short. And while we don’t know how long we have, we can live more fully, giving more and being more, than we had previously imagined.



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