“That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.”
So if you want your life to tell a new story what do you do? Here’s a four step process.
First, you stop focusing on the past. It’s not that much different than the concept that you don’t focus on the rearview mirror when driving a car. You might glance at it now and then but only for fractions of seconds. To get to your destination and get there safely it’s important and vital that you focus on the road up ahead of you.
Second, you claim ownership of your life. You are the authority over who you are. The word author comes from the word authority. You are not only the writer, (thoughts you think and words you say) but you are also the producer, (organizer) the director, (decision maker) and everyone down to the camera man. (Do you ever take selfies?) You play many roles in the story of your life. It’s empowering to know we can we have so much control and involvement in the story we have to tell.
Third, you get a goal in mind, a want or strong desire on what you would like to experience, whether it is having something, doing something or being something. Get a clear picture of the story you want your life to tell then tell that story when people ask. Envision that story. Don’t recap an old one. Don’t talk about the story you’re living now if you don’t like it. Use your imagination and feel what it will feel like to have that new story come true.
Einstein is quoted as saying,
“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.”
Use your imagination to attract into your life the new story you want to tell even if it only exists in your head and your heart for now. Let all the detailed pieces fall into place when the timing’s right. Be patient, consistent and ready for perfect timing.
Fourth, recognize when you are allowing your new story to be thwarted, either by your own negative thoughts and emotions or you allow others to warp your vision. Guard your mind. Protect your heart. Pay attention to how you feel and keep reaching for the best feeling you can in any one moment. And most of all don’t pay attention to what other people are doing or saying. That’s their story. Not yours.
You have a story as we all have a story to tell. What story have you been telling? Do you have a story you need to let go of? Do you want your life to tell a different story? Then start this moment, with the best and brightest thought you can have, that gives you the best and most positive feeling you can feel and make that your beginning. Then just keep on reaching for more thoughts and feelings like those and over time you will have the most amazing story ever to tell.
We live in a dualistic world. For every thing there is, by definition, “no thing.” There is the potential for the exact opposite. So for every negative thought, for every fear and doubt there is automatically its exact opposite as a possibility. The idea “No, I can’t, that’ll never happen” automatically creates the statement “Yes I can, that’s a possibility.” So if you’re going to doubt something why not doubt the negative.
Recently I read a book by Susan Cain titled “Quiet – The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.” It is a book that shows a deep reverence for the strength in those who are “quiet.” In the book she has a short quiz you can take that tells you whether or not you are more of an introvert or an extrovert.
It seems that I definitely lean towards being more of an introvert but I also know that deep down my alternate ego has some extroverted tendencies. As much as I relish my alone time and I can navel gaze for what seems like hours, I do get pleasure by being with people. Those who know me, know I love to talk!
It’s hard to deny, though, that we live in a very noisy world and everywhere we turn we are bombarded with “HEY! Look at me!” type distractions which makes it seem like the extroverts are in charge. In every area of our lives it feels like it’s just a game about getting noticed, whether it’s about being included in the “popular” clique in school, getting asked out on a date, being offered the job, driving traffic to our website, having a full social calendar, or just getting lots of “likes” and “followers.” People are much more likely to admire those who are “seen and heard” than those who are operating behind the scenes invisible.
In the book the author, Susan Cain, talked about how it used to be the thinkers and intellectuals, the writers and the artistically inclined, quiet, reserved people who were revered and respected in our culture. They were often our leaders and those who people admired and looked up to. We went from a Culture of Character to a Culture of Personality, as historian Warren Sussman states.
Research has shown that the difference between extroverts and introverts is more about how they process stimuli coming into the brain. For extroverts, the pathway is much shorter. Their brains run the incoming information directly through an area of the brain where the five senses are processed. Whereas the introverts run stimuli through a long, complex pathway in areas of the brain that are connected with remembering, planning, and solving problems. Extroverts recharge their battery by being around other people and introverts recharge their battery by being alone.
Here’s a list of questions that will help you decide if you are more of an introvert or an extrovert. Answer “true” or “false.”
1.) I prefer one-on-one conversations to group activities.
2.) I like to express myself in writing.
3.) I feel rejuvenated after having some alone time.
4.) I’m not motivated by wealth or fame as much as most people.
5.) I like in depth conversations and am bored with chit chat.
6.) I’m a good listener.
7.) I don’t like taking risks.
8.) I don’t like being interrupted.
9.) I like small, intimate parties over large gatherings.
10.) I’m soft spoken.
11.) I prefer to not show my work to others until it’s finished.
12.) I avoid conflict.
13.) I don’t like raising my hand in public to be called on.
14.) I tend to think before I speak.
15.) I feel drained after being in a crowd.
16.) I don’t start conversations very easily with people I don’t know.
17.) It doesn’t bother me to not have lots of activities planned.
18.) I don’t like when I have to multi-task.
19.) I get overwhelmed easily when I have too much on my plate.
20.) I can easily entertain myself with my own thoughts.
The more questions you answered “true” the more introverted you are. So if you are an introvert take heart. Our extroverted world needs you so embrace your introverted nature. We may be a quiet bunch. We may not get all the fanfare as our extroverted counterparts. It may appear that those who are “noticed” have more influence, more successful and are more important but looks may be deceiving.
There’s zero correlation between between the best talker and having the best ideas. ~ Susan Cain
But in my experience it is the introverts who are actually the ones who are responsible for blazing the paths that are leading us toward healing, growing and evolving. Introverts are the ones who initiate the process by posing the thought provoking questions in the first place.
Whether it looks like it or not on the surface, power and change start with a thought for that is the birthplace for everything. The thoughts we put out into the world do matter. They become part of the universal consciousness and the seeds for which everything else springs from.
It is the introverted people who are the ones ultimately responsible for getting us to have an expanded awareness of the world in which we live. They are the ones brave enough to explore the world within which is where all true transformation starts. Extroverts may get all the credit for fanning the flames of change and growth, but it is the introvert who was the igniting spark.
Have you ever wondered at the power of the words you speak? Or even the thoughts you think? Does it really make a difference what you say out loud or under your breath if the only person who hears them is you?
When I was a kid we used to take flashlights and intentionally point them up into the vastness of the dark night sky and then remark how that beam of light we just sent out was going to go on forever and ever. Who knew who or what would receive it. It’s a pretty cool concept if you think about it. Some planet light years away receiving a single beam of light eons from now.
Spoken words do the same thing. They are just sound frequencies that go out into the universe and then travel forever and ever. Who knows who might be receiving them. Who knows the effect those combinations of frequencies will have years from now.
When you are alone with just YOU as your company – such as when you are waking up or falling asleep, sitting on the toilet, taking a shower, driving in your car – what kind of frequencies are you beaming out into the universe with your thoughts and words? Are they positive or negative frequencies? If you put intention behind your internal conversations what would you like the universe to know about you and your future? Here’s an inspiring story to illustrate the power of words when put out into the universe with intention.
There once was a boy named Jim. Jim had a difficult childhood. He did poorly in school because he was terribly dyslexic. He overcame this disability partly by developing a really good memory. He had no friends as he was thought of as the weird kid and was pretty much a social outcast except when he tried to make them laugh for that was his talent – making people laugh. He had a natural gift for creating outlandishly humorous facial expressions and voices.
One of his greatest motivators was making his sick mother laugh as she was battling depression and physical pain. He was quoted as saying, “I used to go in there and do impressions of praying mantises, and weird things, and whatever. I’d bounce off the walls and throw myself down the stairs to make her feel better.”
Jim’s first actual appearance on stage however did not turn out so well. Instead of laughter, he was, in fact, booed off stage. He was only fifteen years old performing a ventriloquist act at the Yuk-Yuk Comedy Club in Toronto. But this experience did not dissuade him. He knew in his heart he had talent for bringing joy to people and making them laugh and thus feel better, even if just for a few moments. Somehow he just had to figure out.
When he was sixteen years old his dad lost his job and Jim had to drop out of school and get a full time job to help support the family. There was even a time when his family was homeless and living out of a yellow Volkswagen van. Despite these hardships he never gave up his dream of being on the big stage and he kept that dream alive in his heart.
When he was seventeen he returned to the Yuk Yuk theater with a new act which gained him rave reviews. Now with a little experience under his belt he followed his heart and moved to California to pursue his career as a comedian. The move brought about its own hardships. He found himself again struggling financially, penniless and barely scraping by. Night after night he would drive up Mulholland Drive thinking about how successful he would be one day and then he would speak this intention out loud to only the stars of the universe as his audience. He would speak about all the movies that were already coming his way and the joy he would experience at making people laugh.
Whether he knew it or not at the time, he was using the power of words. He intuitively knew he needed to have intentional thoughts about what he wanted the future to look like. He even wrote himself a check for $10,000,000, writing in the memo “for acting services rendered.” He dated it Thanksgiving day, three years in the future. He carried that check in his wallet for the next three years.
The words he spoke out to the night sky every night up on Mulholland Drive had power beyond even his wildest imagination. He ended up landing the back up act for Rodney Dangerfield at the Comedy Club in LA. From there it was on to bigger and better parts and eventually roles in movies that did indeed earn him more than the $10,000,000, the amount he had originally contracted the universe for.
Who was this awkward, dyslexic boy and at times a penniless man? You would know him now as Jim Carrey, one of the most successful and beloved comedians of our day.
The story of the Chinese Bamboo is a great anecdotal illustration of perseverance, patience, faith and trust. I love to share it with people, especially to those who are struggling to find success at reaching a goal. I fit into that category often so this story has really helped me keep my perspective. This is a story with a profound message and I’m sure you’re going to like it and remember it for years to come.