One thing you already know about me: if I find something that says what I want to say better, I put it in my article. I have no ego about it. Actually, the story I tell myself about it is that only brilliant people can be humble… and that is both true and a lie. Actually, the truth is that humility, the willingness to say “I don’t know”, the willingness to say “did I get that right?” are both the result and the cause of brilliance… So no matter how you look at it, I am brilliant… lol. Now that was fun, lol. A lot of fun. Now, onto the quoted article:
What stories do you tell yourself concerning your disappointments, failures and embarrassments? Were you the unfortunate victim of evil?
Perhaps it’s time you start telling different versions of those stories. Regret and fear are incapable of guiding you to Success.
The stories you tell yourself are the foundations of your self-image. The self that will either get things done or not.
“The first principle of self-deception is you must not fool yourself — and you are the easiest person to fool.” — Richard Feynman, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics
There are many ways in which the truth can be told.
If your story reveals you to be an unfortunate victim, you become an obstacle to your own success. But you are not a victim. Your experience proves only that you are resilient, resourceful and strong. You powered through.
It’s a matter of perspective.
“Every day is a new opportunity to change your life. You have the power to say ‘This is not how my story ends.'” — Karen Salmansohn
In just 23 words Karen Salmansohn causes you to see yourself in an interesting duality of existence. You are
- a living character in a story that is being written, and
- you are the author of that story.
- Implicit in her statement is the unspoken question, “Have you decided what your character will do next?”
That’s a lot to convey in just 23 words, don’t you think?
Salmansohn doesn’t have to tell you that you have feelings and opinions and the power of choice. You already know these things. But she makes those big ideas spring to life using a tool I’ve decided to call reverse personification.
Personification gives human attributes to things that are not human. But you are human. Yet in just 23 words Salmansohn makes you an imaginary character who is brought to life and given the power to decide what happens next.
Arianna Huffington makes a similar observation.
“Just change the channel. You are in control of the clicker.”
What separates Salmonsohn’s 23 words from Huffington’s 11 is that Salmansohn makes you a character in a story while Huffington hands you the clicker to a television show called Life that is unfolding before your eyes.
Perspective – seeing through the eyes of another entity – is what gives personification its power. 2
Fifteen years ago a man wrote a radio ad in which the narrator described a suffocating, sticky, gummy feeling that is stripped away by a shower of hot water and cleansing soap, leaving him buoyant, bouncy, vibrant and clean, smelling good and feeling young again with all his natural color restored. He wrote that ad as a homework assignment during the Magical Worlds Communications Workshop. He owned a carpet cleaning company in Canada. It wasn’t until the end of the ad that you realized the carpet was describing what it felt like to be cleaned. Personification.
I’ve always wished I had kept a copy of that ad.
Roy H. Williams
OK, the rest of the email by Roy Williams was about writing ads… you don’t need that, but you need to see that the story you tell, preferably not from your head, but from the Narrator position, can make all the difference in how your life turns out.
Unless you use first person… because that pulls you right back in. Into the oscillating structure. The oscillating structure that doesn’t go anywhere… like your life now.
Related through me talking about oscillating structures… Read these articles, if you have time.
- Remember oscillating structures from Robert Fritz? yes/no plus wheels on the rocking chair so you can go to town. The third thing, what your character will do next, is the going to town part. Most of you are stuck in the oscillating structure… back and forth, back and forth, while the town is waiting, in vain.
Only when I decided that the question: “Am I smart or am I stupid” was an oscillating structure, a rocking chair, I cut this wondering about state, and decided: “Stupid people can do anything: I’ll be stupid. Decided.”
- When you do the narration method from the “Stranger than Fiction” movie right, this is what you are doing. Create a perspective where you are not in the middle of the story, but you are outside of it, where you can make intelligent decisions.
The movie is available for paid subscribers in my subscribers’ area