Writing better lives

The story we have for our lives may not be great but we have one and we can work on it.  We only need to own the reality that we create our own character arcs.  Our lives are unfolding.  Nothing is set in stone:

‘”You’re doing it all wrong.”  But at least you’re doing it.  Once you’re doing it, you have the chance to do it better.  Waiting for perfect means not starting.’*

Mihaly Csiszentmihalyi writes about the “control of consciousness” determining our lives.  What he is describing relates to determining our story:

‘The most important step in emancipating oneself from social controls is the ability to find rewards in the events of each moment.  If a person learns to enjoy and find meaning in the ongoing stream of experience in the process of living itself, the burden of social controls automatically falls from one’s shoulders.  Power returns to the person when rewards are no longer related to outside forces.’**

I happened to hear cricketer Andrew (Freddie) Flintoff speaking about how the nerves that were so difficult to overcome for other cricketers, when batting or bowling, were the feelings he loved; he understood his nervousness differently, making them a special part of who he was.

When it comes to feelings, E.E. Cummings claims:

“Almost anybody can learn to think or believe or know, but not a single human being can be taught to feel. Why? Because whenever you think or you believe or you know, you’re a lot of other people: but the moment you feel, you’re nobody-but-yourself.”^

Whatever we can learn or believe or know has to be connected at a heart level.  Getting to know our heart, and allowing this to create a better story is what we have the opportunity of doing every day of our lives.  I leave the last words to Cummings:

“To be nobody-but-yourself — in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else — means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.”^

(*From Seth Godin’s blog “You’re doing it wrong”.)
(**From Mihaly Csikszentmihaly’s Flow.)
(^E.E. Cummings, quoted in Maria Popova’s Brain Pickings: The Courage to be Yourself.)

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