You Are the Author of Your Life
Our life and our career is like a book. Some chapters are phenomenal and others leave a little to be desired. You’d like to skip right over those. Yet, every day adds a new page to our overall journey.
Until the final sentence has been written, there’s still time to change the story or write something new.
As we flip through the pages of our life, we can see where we lived through an array of emotions, actions, circumstances, or events. We had our ups and downs. We laughed, we cried, we won, we lost, we faltered… and we grew stronger.
But when you are on the last page, what will your book say about you? What story will it tell? Will your life book be powerful and compelling or will it be full of pages that didn’t have much of an impact to you? And, dare I say, did it bore you?
Your story continues to unfold and you are the one responsible for writing your story.
Our Power is in the Present
If you don’t like how the story is unfolding, change it.
You can’t rewrite life but you can start a new chapter. Don’t spend your time thinking “what if.” What’s done is done. A critical assessment of your life lessons is always useful as you build your future. Spending time going backwards, however, does nothing for you. Nothing to see there.
Our future dreams are prepared for in the present moment. Don’t let five years or even one more year go by while you keep looking back with regret.
George Bernard Shaw tells us:
“The possibilities are numerous once we decide to act and not react.”
Six Ways to Write Your Story
Consider everything that has happened up until this point as character development. Now build on that and write something new.
A good book takes the reader on a compelling journey. It grabs you. You keep turning the pages because you want to see what happens next. It gives you a satisfied ending as you connect with the characters in all their glory and even with their weaknesses.
1. Know Your Antagonist
The protagonist is the main character in a story. It’s the one that the reader can empathize with. The antagonist, on the other hand, opposes the protagonist. In the most conventional plots, this boils down to bad guy vs. good guy. Think Luke Skywalker versus Darth Vadar in the first Star Wars movie, for example.
An antagonist represents opposition against which the protagonist must contend. The antagonist may also represent a major threat or obstacle to the main character just by their existence, without necessarily deliberately targeting them. The antagonist doesn’t necessarily always mean “the bad guy” but someone who can stand in your way of accomplishing what you need.
Hmm, food for thought, isn’t it? So, it’s important to know who or what threatens you so that you can overcome that obstacle and write the story of triumph.
2. Give Yourself a Powerful Voice
Stephen R. Covey said: “One word expresses the pathway to greatness: voice.Those on this path find their voice and inspire others to find theirs. The rest never do.”
Give yourself a voice. Flex your vocal cords. The voice is what carries you through in the story. It permeates every page, paragraph, and sentence. How you express yourself is a direct reflection upon how people experience who you are and what you represent.
Your voice defines you. Don’t let your individuality be misrepresented because your voice doesn’t communicate your soulful essence. Your voice gives you clarity in your life’s direction. It gives you the freedom of expression without holding anything back.
Knowing your voice gives you strength of character. It enhances all areas in your life from your personal relations to your career choices.
3. Surround Yourself with Notable Characters
A captivating book has more than just a main personality and more than an
antagonist and protagonist. It’s filled with other memorable characters. They can make the most mundane day fresh and exhilarating. Unforgettable characters make the story come alive and they’re one of the most important aspects to a good story. They’re distinctive to every book and they make us feel emotions. They help us see the world in new ways. They help us to re-think our own lives and motivations and affect us in a manner so that they live on in our memories for years.
Who do you surround yourself with in life that gives you a different perspective? Who inspires you? Who motivates you? Who helps you step outside of your comfort zone so that you live more experiences?
Are they happy, grouchy, ambitious, optimistic, and enthusiastic? Evaluate the characters in your life to make sure these are the people you want in your book.
4. Write a Great Story Line
“If you deliberately plan on being less than you are capable of being, then I warn you that you’ll be unhappy for the rest of your life.” –Abraham Maslow
Make them laugh and make them cry. It makes no difference what elements play into what a great story personally means to you. The point is that you believe it’s exciting. You’re invested in the plot and in the characters. You are living an engaged life and sometimes that makes you want to stay up until 2:00 a.m. because you are not ready to put the book down.
5. Have a Vibrant Setting
Your setting, both work and personal, ground the story. The setting adds to the details of your book. It helps people understand who you are. Settings set the mood, influence the way characters behave, predict events, and invoke passionate responses. Without a setting, it’s just events.
A setting provides a world in which your story plays out. It’s not just important, it’s vital.
6. Think about the Ending and Then Come up with the Middle
If you get stuck on a chapter, skip ahead. Decide how you want your story to end and then work backwards. That way, every decision along the way will be a lot easier to make if you know the end goal and what you are working to accomplish.
It doesn’t matter what chapter or phase of the book you are currently in because each day presents another opportunity to write something new.
It’s up to you. This is your life and career legacy. Your personal legacy is being developed with every single word you write. Write your story the way you want to live it. Write your story the way you want to be remembered.
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