Rewrite your story and live it.

We all have a story of how we have arrived at this point in our lives. Some stories are filled with adventure, excitement and success, while other stories are filled with heartache, constant struggle and monotony. And then there are the stories that are average, work 40 years for 40 hours a week and get a gold watch for effort.

Most people think that the way it has always been is the way it will always be. That, however, is not the truth. History is filled with the stories of ordinary people who have made a decision, which has resulted in a different story being told and lived from that day forward. You see it’s your story. You get to write it and live it.

Yes, there are things that happen to all of us that were not a part of the story as we planned it, but it’s not the things that happen to us that make the story. Its the way in which we respond to them that determine how the story plays out.
Some of the things that happen to people are truly horrible and none of us would wish them on anyone, but again, history is littered with the stories of people who have experienced the most horrible of things and determined to have a positive outcome from these events.
It has been said that we can’t change the cards we are dealt, we simply have to determine the way we play the hand.

But what about your story?

We have all heard the famous stories of Abraham Lincoln, who failed in business, had a nervous breakdown and was defeated in 8 elections or Steve Jobs, who was fired from his own company and Nelson Mandela who spent 27 years in prison.
But there are also the stories of the ordinary people, like Phan Thi Kim Phuc who was badly burned by napalm as a 9 year old during the Vietnam war, the horror of which was captured by photographer Nick Ut. Despite undergoing 17 surgeries and remaining in hospital for 14 months, she survived, married and had 2 children.  Although Phuc has lived with intense pain and restricted mobility for most of her life, she has not allowed these circumstances to determine her story.
Or the story of Randy Pausch, who was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer in 2006 and given 3 to 6 months to live in August 2007. His story become well known around the world after a YouTube video of an upbeat lecture he gave a month after his diagnosis went viral. Despite his diagnosis, Randy worked hard to leave a great legacy for his family, gave other lectures, wrote a book called ‘Last Lecture’, moved house and made multiple TV appearances. He passed away in July 2008, but has left an incredible legacy behind.  (Watch Randy Pausch video)
And the story of Alison Botha, who in December 1994 suffered an ordeal no person could imagine. Abducted by 2 men and taken to Noordhoek on the outskirts of Port Elizabeth, a coastal city in South Africa, Alison was raped, assaulted and left to die. She had been stabbed more than 30 times in the abdomen and her throat had been cut from one side to the other. Somehow, managing to get to the main road, Alison survived. A painful, emotional and depressing recovery followed, but she ultimately chose to rewrite her story in the way she responded to the circumstances. (Watch the documentary promo)

Rewrite your story and live it.

And then there is your story. The story of your past, which has brought you to where you are today, but more importantly the story of your future. How will you respond to the circumstances around you? Whether good or bad. What will your response be to those who say you can’t? So your business is facing financial, HR or product challenges? How will you react?

Some people will continue to blame the government, the school system or their parents, for where they are and where they will be this time next year. They will allow other people and circumstances to write their story. They allow the opinions of other people set the tone of their lives.
At the age of 13, my late brother was diagnosed with cerebral arteriovenous malformation (AVM), an abnormal connection between arteries and veins in the brain. After a battery of test, he was told never to play rugby, surf, listen to loud music, dance or fight as all of these things could lead to a brain bleed and almost certain death. He was also told that none of these may cause any damage. Leslie chose to live life to the full. He played rugby, surfed and got into the odd scrape or two. He also got married and had a child. He died aged 30 of a brain bleed which occurred while sitting watching TV. He chose to write his story, which was very different to the story the doctors would have had him write.
And while I am not advocating foolishness, I am saying don’t just be a bit part actor in the drama of your life. Rather be the script writer and the lead actor, able to adapt the story as you steer your way through this year and next and the one after. It is not for other people to determine your tomorrow, who you will become or even who you are right now.
“The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.” Click To TweetI believe it was Abraham Lincoln who said, “The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.” That is how your story will unfold. One day at a time. There is still much to do no matter what age you are.

You can rewrite your story and you can live it.

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