Make the Story of Your Life Something You’d Want to Read
Every morning I wake up to a quote from Buddha right over my head reminding me that “Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.” Every day is not only a gift and a blessing, but it’s another installment in the story of our lives. With each new day, we have a choice to make. Will we sit back and watch the story of our lives unfold before us, or are we going to write that story for ourselves?
There are times when writing that story will mean that for that day, we chose to just be and to let it happen as it will without any conscious direction on our part. That was kind of how today went for me. I slept in a little bit and then picked up Kayla (she didn’t have school today) and we just kind of hung out and went with the flow for the day. As I mentioned last night, there was some snow headed our way this evening, so we just stayed in, cooked up a feast, and snuggled on the couch to eat and watch a movie. It was a rather relaxing and enjoyable way to spend the evening, but it was also a conscious decision to do so.
Sitting back and letting life happen can be enjoyable, and at times, necessary, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good way to go through your entire life. I mean, it’s your life, do with it what you want and if that’s what you choose, well I’m not going to stop you. I’m not going to encourage it either. We have so many choices available to us and endless possibilities, to me it seems a waste to not take control of your life and make it into whatever you dream it could be.
Yes, it will take hard work and dedication. Yes, there will be setbacks, but there will also be break throughs. The time will pass either way regardless of what you do with it so why not put in the effort and take the chances? Go out on a limb, be adventurous, take risks (calculated risks that is, don’t be reckless). As Benjamin Franklin said, “Either write something worth reading, or do something worth writing.”
Personally, I may be a bit over ambitious here, but I’m trying to do both of those options at the same time. That’s the story that I want to write for myself though, what you want your story to look like will be different but equally as amazing just as long as you make the choice to write it. There’s no right or wrong way to go about it, just go for it. Find something that you’ve always wanted to do but for whatever reason have been too scared to try, and go do it!
I was thinking about that the other night, the idea of finding something I’ve avoided trying due to fear but was both happy and disappointed that I couldn’t come up with anything. Happy because I guess that means I’m not letting myself be held back by fear, but disappointed because I’d been rather hoping to write a post on it but couldn’t come up with a personal experience upon which to base it. Sure, there are things I would like to do but choose not to, but I do that for reasons I’m ok with. Like the fact that I’m a parent and responsible for raising a little woman and showing her how to live in the world today, or because I want to maintain my own business more than I want to go galivanting across the country on a whim.
That’s not to say that in thinking more about writing my own story versus watching it happen I am not finding a few things I think I’d like to change. I’m generally pretty happy with my life overall but there are still some things that, as the author, I think I’d like to write differently starting tomorrow. I’ve got a general outline of what I want the next chapter to look like and now it’s time to go through and write in all the details on a day to day basis to give it the substance and direction I want the overall narrative to have.
For whatever reason, just thinking about life in this way, as a story that I get to write for myself, is a very exciting and empowering feeling. For me, thinking about life as authoring my own story really resonates strongly. Instead of sitting here and thinking to myself, what am I going to do tomorrow, and basing it on how motivated I expect I might feel, I’m asking myself “Ok, if I were just to write out the story as if I were the character in it and remove my personal motivation level from the equation, what would I have that character do?”
The answer happens to be far more ambitious than I’m currently feeling I might be motivated for, but sticking to the mindset of just being that character and going through the actions laid out in what I would write has the effect of removing my personal hesitation from the picture. Do I feel like first thing in the morning I’m going to want to wake up relatively early and start off right away on a lengthy to do list of things I’ve been putting off? No, I feel like I want to get up, relax, spend some time just hanging out with Kayla and enjoying a morning of being snowed in at home.
But I pretty much did that tonight and I wouldn’t want to READ the same thing over and over so why should I DO the same thing over and over? Sure, it would be easier and require less effort on my part but at the end of the day, which story will I feel better about having been the main character in when I go to lay down for the night? It’s definitely the one where I feel a sense of pride in all that I’ve accomplished and pushed myself to do! For tonight, even though I had a laid back, let it just happen evening, I can now go to bed feeling pretty good about the shift of perspective I’ve had and the foundation I’ve laid for the story I’ll write tomorrow!
I also got to enjoy a nice relaxing evening with Kayla but tomorrow, I get to wake up and show her something else, experiencing something different than today with her, and teach her how to write her own story. Maybe while we are working our way through the items I hope to accomplish tomorrow some of you will be reading this and starting to look at your own lives differently. Maybe you’ll decide you want to change a few things in the story you’re writing for yourself or that you’ve had enough of watching it happen instead of taking part in creating it and that’s a wonderful thing too that I would be proud to have had a part in.
Anyway, I’ve got an exciting and busy day ahead of me tomorrow so I’m going to go make sure I’m rested and wake ready and eager to get started. I hope you all have a great start to your weekend and as always, thanks so much for reading!