What is the story that you’re telling about your past?
How is that story informing your story about who you are today?
Stories are powerful things. Human beings are storytellers by nature. It’s how we pass things on from generation to generation. Think about the stories we tell about our religion, about our family, about our ethnic heritage. Stories are meant to keep the past alive and connect us to those who have gone before, as well as giving us wisdom and insight from which to build our future. And that can be a very good thing.
Stories can also severely limit future growth. It all depends on the story you’re telling.
Here’s an invitation: give yourself the gift of 30 minutes of time to reflect in quiet. If you can’t do this now, open your calendar and schedule it. Take your time. I’ll wait. Done? Good.
When you’re ready for this exercise, have nothing with you but a pen and a notebook. Set a timer for half an hour, preferably something other than the timer on your phone. You want 30 minutes of undisturbed time.
Think about the story you tell about your past and distill the essence of it. Then write it down.
My story was that I was of no value. What’s yours?
Reflect on the story you tell about your present. Is your current story informed by the perceived deficiencies or limits of your past? Write it down.
Look ahead one year. What’s the story that you’re telling about your future? Do you have a story for your future? Or has your life become a living checklist? Something like this…
- Wake up
- Gym (on a good day)
If the stories that you’re telling about your past, present, and future thrill you, keep going! Live in gratitude and even more will flow to you.
If you’re living a checklist life, and you have no future story, know this: you will continue to experience life as occurring TO you, instead of life occurring FOR you.
What to do? Tell a different story. I did, and the results are extraordinary. It’s an ongoing process, though. I monitor my thoughts daily, because they contribute to my story.
While it’s undeniable that there are facts associated with our lives – “what’s so” – it’s the story that we tell about “what’s so” that matters.
Do this 5 minutes a day, every day, without fail. Get up early so you can do this in peace.
1 – Name aloud 10 things for which you’re grateful. “Thank you for…” or “I’m grateful for…” Whatever first comes to mind. Great or small. It doesn’t matter. The purpose is to start every day from a foundation of gratitude. This should take less than a minute.
2 – Set a timer for 5 minutes. Think about a future without limits. What does it look like, sound like, smell like, taste like, feel like? Get specific. Have fun! Don’t worry about getting it “right.” Don’t worry about not having the perfect images immediately. All that matters is that you engage this daily.
3 – Practice calling the future into the present. In other words, don’t see health and wellness, or wealth and abundance, or fulfilling work, or a thriving business, or a meaningful relationship somewhere off in the distance. Visualize them here and now. What does your life look like, sound like, smell like, taste like, and feel like NOW, with all of those things in play? Most importantly, allow yourself to FEEL the emotions that come with these thoughts.
Check out #10at10withKen for more insights.