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Definition: ‘Writing your own story:’
Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom. Thomas Jefferson.
Did you know that the Latin root of the word “authenticity” is “author.” To write your own story means to be the authentic author of your life. This includes knowing and living true to your highest values and continuing to do so when you experience adversity or hit cross roads in life. It means to live life on your own terms – in consideration of your needs and desires. To ‘own it’ and to intentionally make decisions that steer your life in whatever direction you choose. It means chasing your dreams and doing what you love and what makes you happy. You’re in the driver’s seat.
Why is it important?
There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you. – Maya Angelou
If you are not writing your own story, then you are simply a character in someone else’s story. Sure there is nothing wrong with doing this, but it will most likely be a mediocre life, with less happiness and increased stress.
If on the other hand, you want to live a happy and fulfilling life, then you need to write your own story. Whether you want to live a simple life or more exhilarating one doesn’t matter – what matters is that you live the life that ‘you’ want to live. Writing your own story makes you feel empowered because you are standing in your own power and in control of what you do and don’t want in life.
Writing your own story gives you a sense of purpose, and we all know that the best stories are the ones that have a purpose. When you do what you love, you have much more gratitude, and you achieve so much more in your life. Writing your own story and chasing your dreams lights a fire in your heart and whether you reach it or not it warms everyone and everything around you. Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we were all inspired, if we all chased our dreams? I know I feel inspired chasing my dreams! Most importantly writing your own story makes you happy and you can’t put a price on that!
Are you writing your own story?
There comes a point when you need to stop reading other people’s books and write your own. – Albert Einstein
Are you writing your own story, or are you following other people’s story? Are you living the dream – your dream? Are you just plotting through life according to other people’s wants, desires, expectations and dreams? If you are not writing your own story you need to start, especially if you’ve found yourself in the wrong story.
How do we write our own story?
Start with Once Upon a Time… Here are some of my top tips when it comes to writing your own story:
*Be careful not to let others write your story:
If you don’t write your own story then others will write it for you.
If you were to look back upon your story thus far today, you would likely find that part of your story comes from your own choices but part of it also comes from your environment too – namely via the projection of others. Often this starts at birth, with our parents and siblings. In-fact, so much of this influence is unspoken – meaning that their influence is subtle yet powerful through their values, including the way they behave and live their life. And as we grow up, this circle of influence extends to relatives, friends, teachers, work mates.
Regardless of who it is, all of these people can affect both how you perceive and interact with the world including how you write your story. I suppose from a young age, parents probably have the biggest influence on the outcome of your story, because from a young age your values are so heavily influenced by their own. However, although it’s often always from good intentions, if you are not careful, then it is easy to let them or anyone else write your story – and especially so if you look up to them. This isn’t a bad thing if you’re happy with the story they have helped you write. However it’s just that sometimes they just can lay out quite a narrow path for you to success, and they can make you feel like if you don’t go down this path you will be a failure.
It’s one thing to take advice from others but it’s another thing altogether to live your life the way they want you to live it. Sometimes if we are not careful, we can let others influence our story more than we know. Have you sold out on your dreams in order to make those whom you love and respect happy? Remember to always surround yourself with those who are supportive of your dreams.
*Listen to your Gut:
The key to writing your own story is to take the time to reflect on what you really want to do and want from life & then take positive steps towards it. Obviously this is never one thing because there are many things you can do. But the key is to listen to your heart and follow your intuition, otherwise known as your internal GPS. You can do this by tuning in and going with your gut, in all areas of your life.
As children we all had dreams, but sadly many of us forget about them along the way. What would your 5 year old self tell you it wants to do? What makes you tick? What do you really want from life? What does success really mean to you? What is it that puts the fire in your heart? What moves you? What is it that you absolutely love? For me it’s helping people live happier, healthier, fitter lives.
If you could live your life over again, would you do anything differently? Once you decide what you want from life then chase it – dreams need to be acted upon in order to become a reality. Dream big and follow your gut!
*Believe in yourself:
Many of us never write our own story simply because we don’t believe in ourselves. What do you believe about the things you want? I ask this because life doesn’t give you what you want – life gives you what you believe. So think about what you want, and then think about what you believe, and then your job is to line them up. You will always get what you want if you believe it enough. So believe in, and back yourself 110%.
*Step out of your comfort zone:
It’s pretty easy to grow up and put your passions aside, to take a job that you really don’t mind and raise some kids that will most likely be inspired to do the same thing, going from point A to point B to point C. There’s nothing wrong or nothing bad about that, but there’s also nothing great, and nothing inspiring about that either. It’s much safer in life to do what is common and what is expected of you, rather than to go out on a whim and write it yourself. However, the reality is that everything you really want in life is usually outside your comfort zone. You need to put your fears aside in order to achieve happiness.
Life is pretty easy, but chasing your dreams isn’t always easy – it takes a lot of courage and you just need to take action. You need to let go of the fear of failure. If you do fail to achieve some dreams, then that failure itself is part of your success. I challenge you tonight before you go to bed, to find out what your dreams are. There is nothing more important in your life than figuring this out, because when you do, you’ll be going to sleep, not to dream, but with a dream, and waking up with one. Most importantly, persevere and never give up on following your dreams and on writing your story.
*Don’t leave it too late:
People often tell me “someday I’ll write a book,” “someday I’ll travel the world,” “someday I I’ll do this and that.” The only problem with this is that ‘someday’ isn’t on the calendar, and you will never be as young as you are today to fulfil your dreams and do the things that you really want to do in life.
There’s nothing like the loss of a loved one or a cancer diagnosis to empower you to start writing your own story. However, for many this often comes too late. Don’t wait until it’s too late – instead take the initiative and start writing your story how you want to write it from today. Because life is short, and you never know what’s around the corner in life. Life can end at any time due to circumstances which are completely beyond your control. You only have one unique life, you have to make it count, and you have to make it memorable. You have to write a story that’s worthwhile reading and one that you’re happy with.
*Never compromise who you are:
We would all like to be doing ‘exactly’ what we want in life, and for the most part we can. However, the reality is that we all have to compromise in life – it’s just a matter of how much and what. Most of us know this, and as a result are accommodating to the needs of others, however where some of us become undone is when we also begin to compromise on our deepest values, needs, desires and whatever else it is that makes us happy. So ensure to never compromise who you are and what makes you tick. Don’t worry you’re not being selfish – you’re just looking after your own well-being by putting yourself first. Never feel selfish for something that you really want to do.
So remember, it’s your story, your destiny, your life. If you own the story, then you can write the ending. You and the story you write are a contribution to the world so make it count!
Q. Who’s story are you writing – yours or someone else’s?
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