“EDIT YOUR LIFE FREQUENTLY
AFTER ALL, IT’S YOUR
-Nathan W. Morris
Bleier never gave up and worked hard so that some time in the future he would not have to ask himself, “What if?” His life-story was edited a number of times by circumstances beyond his control, but he responded by making his own edits. Think about it. What was he really doing? He refused to let others create his life-story! Bleier had a vision for his life. He knew what he wanted and he knew that its achievement would not occur without a journey; a journey that required him to adapt and adjust to circumstances that were often beyond his control. We each have that same power. The power to make an edit or series of edits that will let us create the life story we want. Sounds easy doesn’t it? Make a few changes, edit some aspects of our lives, alter a few others, and then watch the masterpiece emerge. So how can we start? By transforming our story.
Dr. Tim Wilson, a social psychologist at the University of Virginia believes that we all have a story and that this narrative plays a significant role in how we approach situations in our life, other people, and our own self-concept. “Our experience of the world is shaped by the stories we tell ourselves and our interpretations of them.” While we cannot change our life history (family members, experiences, genetics, etc.), how we react to them and weave them into our personal narrative is of our choosing. As we initiate our transformation, Wilson suggests three considerations:
- Assess Who You Are – Ask yourself, “What is my story and what would I like to change?” Take time to really think about who you are, what you have, what is missing, what needs to be improved, and what you want your future to look like. An important part of this component is resilience. Realize that you can rise above challenging times and a challenging past by taking steps toward positive change.
- Identify the Changes You Want to Make – Ask yourself, “What do I need to change about my current story to create the life I want? Perhaps it is a routine, or a habit that needs to be addressed. Maybe there is an area for improvement that needs a concerted effort. Identify the changes you want to make and recruit those you can count on to provide feedback regarding your efforts.
- Continue to Revise As You Go Along – As you rewrite your story, take time out on a regular basis to remind yourself that you always have the ability to revise your story. Remembering that you have the power to edit your narrative will make you feel stronger, happier and more optimistic about the life you are creating.
Mark Kennedy’s post (‘Edit Your Life is Good Advice”) in the Times Free Press provides an interesting perspective on editing our story. From a writing perspective he reminds us that a story is made up of a character, a conflict, and a resolution. So, coincidently, is human life. When you begin to see the conflicts and the subsequent opportunities that come with resolution, you have begun to think like an editor. Equally important, when the subject is complicated (much like life), good editors know that rewriting those early drafts is the most important part of the process. Like any other piece of writing, your life-story will be filled with numerous drafts. As Rocky Bleier demonstrated, just write, edit, rewrite and repeat until you get it right and your masterpiece is ready.
Embrace the Challenge