Sunday, May 20, 2012

Writing our own story...

Not all of us are writers or storytellers...but all of us are living a "story" in the fabric of our daily lives and decisions. The question remains whether we are living our own story, or someone else version of OUR story.

I have been reading "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years" by Donald Miller in which the author describes his journey of reinventing himself by writing his own story through more imaginative self-inspection or analysis. He effectively describes in the book how he becomes more responsible and effective in managing his life and keeping perspective after discovering the ability to write and imagine his own story through daily life decisions and gaining perspective.

As usual, a book such as this challenges or confirms some of my own experiences in life. In a discussion with some friends yesterday, it was interesting to discuss how our lives are affected by our reactions or interactions with others. Some of us choose to live somewhat hermetical lifestyles while others live to mix it up or even compete with the people around us. Some of us compete for attention, some for accolades or praise, and some just feel an innate need to lead and influence. Many are never in touch with what makes them tick in the social order of things, but most of us have a few guesses as to what type we are and why.

Most stories, or "dramas", involve putting ourselves in extreme situations of decision, anguish or challenge. Most good stories involve elements of risk and danger. While most stories end happily in the library, we know that in real life most do NOT. At the same time, most normal people aspire to some level of higher success or affect in the world they live in and realize that it involves taking risks and "roads less traveled" to live a good story.

I have been saying in various ways over the life of this blog that I think the level we reach in life is directly proportionate to our combined efforts and our potential. Some of us are OVER achievers...going far beyond what anyone ever expected us to amount to. On the other hand, most of us live with a constant sense of remorse or disappointment with our status in life, regrets over loves or fortunes lost, and having lost any sense of zeal for changing our lives as they exist. It is much easier to make excuses or place blame than to push on towards the dreams and ambitions we have had for ourselves.

The bottom line on this theme for me is in the hands of each of us to continue writing and changing the story of our lives per the script that we envision or desire. We can either go on living according to the script OTHERS have formulated or convinced us to play within...or we can start writing and living our own "screenplay" of life.

The power of words...whether spoken or written...are that they can move others and/or ourselves to focus on change or the ideas that will bring change. If we never think or speak to each other about our dreams or ambitions, it is highly unlikely we will ever achieve them. Speaking or writing it, believing in what we said or wrote, and then acting on those ideas are key to making the most of ourselves in our relatively short existence.

I believe it is possible for us to influence or control the conversations we have in life. We can choose to spend all our time with fools...or we can pursue and seek those with active brains and ambitions that match or exceed ours. We can go into conversations with an agenda of our own, or simply follow along the often vain and empty conversations of others. I think influential people tend to pick and choose their conversations carefully...and usually lead versus follow in those conversations. THEY are writing the story...and bringing other characters into their story for their own purposes and reasons. There is a certain art to this kind of living.

It is for each of us to examine our potentials...then realistically plan and take action to reach the goals we have in life. It is a beautiful thing that these goals and ideals can be as different as the individuality we each possess. The saddest observation to me is when you see someone who was a great "writer" give up and quit writing or pushing. These people are already as dead and useless to this world as those already on the other side. Their obituary has already been written.

Epilogue...from "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years"...

...regardless how passionate the Utopianists are, I simply don't believe utopia is going to happen. I don't believe we are going to be rescued. I don't believe an act of man will make things on earth perfect, and I don't believe God will intervene before I die. or for that matter before you die. I believe instead, we will go on longing for a resolution that will not come, not within life as we know it, anyway.