There is nothing that’s good or bad, only thinking makes it so -William Shakespeare
It seems that every time I go on social media I see another famous quote from Shakespeare and it made me wonder…
Why do we give the same value to a man who wrote fiction as we do to others whom we revere as our great leaders? What does he have in common with people like Martin Luther King, Gandhi, The Dalai Lama, or even Christ, Buddha, or Mohammad for that matter? Then it hit me…
Stories are the very things that each of us uses to guide everything we do in life. We all have our own personal bibles made up of these stories that we use as a reference for how we show up in the world. From the moment we wake up until we fall asleep we’re continuously playing them in our heads. Most times we’re not even aware of it because they’re so deeply embedded in our subconscious. Science tells us that 95% of our thoughts each day are repetitive, subconscious thoughts. If science says it, it must be true, right? That science dude is wicked smaat.
Stories are the source of that secret sauce that makes us humans so amazing…That super rocket fuel called emotions.
It’s one of those power tools we humans were gifted. It helps keep us motivated through tough times by reassuring us we’re on the right path. It also allows us to survive as a social species as we use common stories to cooperate with each other in a society. Our stories fuel our happiness by strengthening our virtues like courage, compassion, empathy, and patience.
For many of us, they also strengthen the obstacles we place in the way of our happiness. Things like shame, guilt, and resentment. Obstacles that keep us from showing up as our true authentic selves…that amazing person who came here with a purpose to fulfill.
Why would anyone choose to live by a story that keeps them stuck and feeling powerless?
Simple…YOU CREATED IT. It’s your baby. When your ego is driving the bus your story is your prized possession and because you created it, you’ll protect it with your life just like you would your own child.
The good news is you don’t have to kill your baby in order to transform it.
We see it all the time in Hollywood where they take the same cast of characters with the same core circumstances and make multiple different stories from them. How often have you seen a character portrayed as a villain and then come back in another story (or even another chapter of the same story) and become a hero?
Many of us go through our entire lives without ever editing or revising our story. It’s as if it was created by some indisputable authority and it’s never meant to be changed. Any time a journalist reports a story they always check first to make sure their source is credible. When is the last time you did this with your story? The good news is,in your life story you are the producer, director, and main character which means you have complete creative license.
As a man who once played the part of a hopeless addict, I had plenty of evidence to back up my victim story. Evidence that was based on social proof from everything I was taught by society, including my closest loved ones. The cool thing about social proof is that you can find it to support any story you wish to create. Once I realized this, I learned how to recreate a story that empowered me. A new truth, based on the same set of facts and circumstances that I used to create my old story and supported by just as much proof. Which one was true? Which one do I want to use as my bible going forward?…
If you’re struggling today just know that your life doesn’t suck, just the story YOU created about it.
Change your story and change your life.