Humans are hardwired for stories. It’s in our DNA to interpret the world through the lens of storytelling. In fact, we need stories to even begin to make sense of all the information and data confronting us each day. Storytelling is so ingrained in us that we spend our entire life narrating events without conscious awareness we are doing so.
Stories are like the operating system for our life. We make judgements (about ourselves and others) based on the narratives running through our heads. We choose spouses, careers and where we want to live base on the stories we create about those things. It’s something we have been doing since the beginning of mankind.
We don’t have a choice about whether we will filter life through stories. But we do have a choice on the direction of the stories we tell ourselves. In my book the Truest Story Ever Told, I contend that if we don’t like the way things are going in life or we simply would like to find more meaning in our day-to-day existence – considering the stories we are telling ourselves each day could really help us to create a better filter for our life.
As we head into 2019 and you begin to consider your goals and resolutions for the New Year, it might be more helpful to consider the story you want to tell about 2019. Instead of just writing down I want to lose 15 pounds or eat healthier, consider the narrative you want to live out for the coming year. You already know what makes for a great story – adventure, conflict, challenges and persistence. This time next year, what do you want your story to be about? Instead of just chasing discrete goals – chase a story. A story will keep you far more inspired and help you to see more clearly when you stumble – because the Hero rarely goes without some setbacks along the way.