ue bot icon

Daily Leadership Thought #157 – Everyone’s Life Is A Novel

June 21, 2011

Free From above crop person using vintage black and red typewriter with white blank sheet of paper against white background Stock Photo

We are always in the process of writing the story of our life.

When you pick up a good work of fiction, it draws you in.  You take the journey with the protagonist as he/she weathers all types of storms and setbacks.  You also take pleasure in their triumphs including when they find they find love and/or happiness.  It is also inspiring when they achieve some level of resolution regarding significant life issues.  Just like in books, everyone is the hero in his or her own story.  The only difference is that your story is a constant work in progress and the ending isn’t yet written.

We all have good chapters and bad ones.  Sometimes the sections are short and uneventful.  Other times they are long, deep, and significant.  There are always turning points in the story, where we make critical decisions, and the consequences of these decisions are played out.  We are sometimes riding the wave of good fortune and happiness, while other times it feels like the wave is crashing over us, and it is all we can do to tread water and swim.  Difficulties are an inevitable part of life.

There is a fundamental difference between a work of fiction and our own stories.  We are the authors.  There is no more subjective experience than living one’s own life.  We get to decide how it all turns out.  It may be cliché to state the obvious; however, it is not what happens to you, but how you respond to it that matters.  In addition, a life can be lived reactively or proactively.  I have met quite a few people who understand this reality and they have become the architects of their own destinies.  Sadly, many more people seem to get mired in a life of mediocrity and disappointment.

What chapter are you writing right now?  Are you taking control of your life or letting events control you?  Are you in a period of significance where important decisions need to be made or simply enjoying a time of contentment and incremental progress?  Are you transitioning to something new or embracing a time of reflection and growth?

How do you want the story to end?  What are you doing to achieve these outcomes?  Believe it or not, once you reach adulthood, your life is mostly of your own making.  I encourage you to dive deep into the writing/living process.  Make sure you fully assume the role of protagonist.    Good and bad things can and will happen, however, in the end it is your actions, character and judgment that will make all the difference.