"Great stories go to those who don't give in to fear." -Donald Miller
I have always enjoyed seeking out and telling great stories. Maybe that is why we love going to the movies? We escape our boring, mundane lives for 90 minutes and get to feel like we are a part of an epic life story. We feel energized and alive while watching it, because our souls are beginning to experience what living should feel like. We watch characters in the story want something in their life, be put in a situation where they have to go for it, take the jump to be uncomfortable, face conflict, overcome it, and step into a greater version of themselves. I don't know about you, but I love these epic stories and I want one for my own life. But when it comes to the action we have to take in order to live an epic story in our own life - we freak out.
Because living a greater story is going to cost us. We are going to have to get uncomfortable. A part of us is going to have to change. But of course, it's much easier to imagine living a greater story sitting comfortably in our movie theater seat with popcorn crumbs all over our lap.
"Here's the truth about telling stories with your life. It's going to sound like a great idea, and you are going to get excited about it, and when it comes time to do the work, you're not going to want to do it...People love to have lived a great story, but few people like the work it takes to make it happen. But joy costs pain."
Donald Miller, A Million Miles In A Thousand Years
If I want to live a better story, such as getting the courage to write this blog, I had to change my mindset and habits. I have to set aside time each day to read, gain inspiration, reflect in my journal, and actually sit down and write the dang thing. Then, if I want anyone to read what I have to say - I have to put it out there - in the most vulnerable place ever - a land called social media where anyone can see it and cast judgements on it. Maybe not too scary of thing for some people, but it's down right terrifying for me.
Here is the thing though, even though every time I sit down to write a post and I hit "publish" with my eyes closed, scared out of my mind - I get to celebrate because I am taking steps in living a greater story. It may be uncomfortable at times, but it's definitely not as uncomfortable as sitting in frozen fear watching better stories pass me by (with popcorn crumbs on my lap).
Think of any great thing you wanted to achieve in life and the work it took to get there. It probably was not the smoothest path. You had to make some sacrifices. You had to get a mindset of accomplishment in order to reach your goal. You had to switch up some habits in order to make it happen. But now you have achieved the goal. You've lived a great story.
If you are sitting there thinking about the greater story you want to live, you are going to have to be ok with getting a little bit uncomfortable. You're going to have to start thinking more about what will go right versus what will go wrong. You are going to have try some things you've never done before. All of the uncomfortable stuff is what makes your story great!
When it is all said in done, what story are they going to tell about your life?
(deep, I know)
But for real, let's stop wasting our time.
Need some direction on how to get started? Try this:
- Take some time to sit quietly with your eyes closed and imagine what your greatest story would look like. Don't hold back on this exercise - seriously - if money, time, resources, literally ANYTHING would not hold you back, what would your story look like?
- Write it down. Put your dreams down on paper. Make it a real thing, not just jumbled thoughts in your head.
- Pick out 1 of those goals/dreams/accomplishments within your great story that excites you the most.
- List out 3 actionable steps you could do today or this week to get closer to that 1 goal. They may not be big steps, and you may only get 1% closer to that goal, but at least you've started your story.
Look, I get that this takes time, energy, and maybe you feel a little ridiculous doing this exercise - but you know what is more ridiculous? Playing small and not living the life you were 100% created for. So for real, take some time today to start figuring out how you are going to live your better story. I can't wait to tell it.
Sending you joy!