Thought Experiment for the New Year

Being a person is a strange thing. There are so many different perspective and ways to think about what you are. Here is one that moves me.

You are a story that is telling itself, not a story, done and complete, sitting on a shelf, nor a story only in the mind, yet to be articulated. You are a living, breathing story, being written, here and now, in real time. You are surrounded by stories that are likewise telling themselves, so it is easy for you to get caught in the background noise of other stories and get knocked off your game. The point of living is enjoy and marvel at the process of writing and being. You are writing your story and living it at the same time.

There is one thing holding many of us back. Many of us are sleep-writing our stories. We stubble forward without really paying attention to what we are doing, we don’t consider what else we might be doing with our story, and we rarely go on to explore and live new possibilities. Beyond that, most of us have a ghostwriter who is doing a great deal of the writing for us. Who is your ghostwriter? Who is telling you what your story should be about, what it should look like, how it should go in the next chapter?

The creative potential of your life is your insatiable copyright. Don’t allow anyone to interfere with that. Take your shoes off in the presence of your creativity, because it is sacred ground. Don’t let someone else water your creativity down for you. Be courageous. Get to the heart of your creativity. It is the only thing which constantly exceeds any ego. Dig deep into it. Like Socrates, have many conversations with your daimon. Pull the best that you’ve got from your soul and get it onto the page for yourself, while your still have time. In making your story better, more connected to your own creativity, you catch others in your echoes and show them how to live more deeply from their own center.

If you are reading this then you probably tend to be careful. Careful people worry too much about rules and breaking them. Stories DO have rules but those rules are not the ones that everyone thinks they already know. Bit by bit, break them. Test the rules. A rule is most meaningful after you’ve broken it, realized it, figured out what why wrong and why it was a rule in the first place.

Not only are we made of stories, but we eat them too. We are all story-vores. People worry so much about what food they are eating. Do you ever question the stories that you are eating? Are you getting a healthy balance of stories, or are you eating junk stories all the time? Are you getting some natural, home grown stories? Are you only eating mass produced, industrial, sugar coated stories? Do you have a fat head, loaded with over processed stories? If you want a new kind of diet, change your story diet. Look before you eat. Check out something new before you shove the same kind of story that you always eat in your mouth. The newness doesn’t need to be far off from what you’ve done before, but it must be continual. By the accumulation of the smallest movements away from a direct copy of the past, a new future is created.

In the book of your life, the pages are cloth, woven from thread, spun from tiny fibers of time. While you are alive, your story is made of time. Someday, your time will run out and your story will be done. The Problem is not that your story will come to an end; the Problem is that you’ll probably never know when it is going to happen. You won’t see the last chapter approaching. Most stories are left unfinished.

More tragic than that, most stories never really have a chance to get going. How many stories begin with a beautiful introduction and careful setup that promises a gripping, moving, powerful story that ultimately never makes it onto the page? Let this turning of the year be a wakeup call. Don’t leave your story unstarted. Jump into the meat of your story now. Live a fun adventure. Make being alive worthwhile.

Go and be the best story you can be. Be a story worth telling.