Stories You Want to Tell

Stories You Want to Tell

Every story can be told a different way.

Losing a parent at an early age can either be spun as a tragedy or a heartwarming comedy. Both versions have been done.

Zoom out, and you’ll find a multitude of other variants in existence – horror, thriller, action, Sci-Fi, romance, drama, you name it… stories have been told every which way. The director uses every device imaginable to tell the story they want to tell it – location, actors, dialog, music, fonts, colors, and more.

But story spinning isn’t just applicable to works of fiction. It’s applicable to our lives too.

While you may not have been conscious of it, the stories of your life have already spun off into multiple variants.

Our memories are too faulty, in fact, to tell the same story in the same way twice. We get caught up in the moment and begin taking creative liberties with our stories, to the point where they’ve taken a long detour from the source material.

This is what it means to be human.

If it’s all the same, then, we should be more intentional about the stories we tell. If it’s all made up anyway, shouldn’t we be making up the stories we want to tell?

What’s the payoff of telling the same sob story you’ve been telling for years? Attention? Affection? Sympathy? No matter the payoff, there’s always an equal or greater impact you have yet to acknowledge.

Beware. The people around you subtly manipulate your story to convince you to do things that benefit them. The better they know you, the more ammunition they’re potentially equipped with to steer you towards the answer they want you to arrive at.

Truth is muddy. It’s more like a river after a storm than the crystal-clear oceans of the Maldives. We’ve been conditioned to believe it’s the latter rather than the former, and that’s a story too. That’s subtle manipulation. Plenty of people benefit from you believing that truth is “snap your finger easy” to pin down.

But your power lies in choosing the stories you want to tell.

Protecting Your Time

Protecting Your Time

Put more stringent measures into place to protect your time, and there will be immediate pushback from your partners, colleagues, collaborators, clients, and peers.

“Who do you think you are? Do you think your time is more valuable than mine?”

“Does this mean we can’t have three-hour conversations sorting out all the details of our next event?”

“I never knew you took your time and boundaries so seriously. Has this always been a concern for you?”

What your colleagues don’t appreciate is that you’re looking to create a workable, sustainable schedule for yourself. And by the time you’ve established a tenable plan, your productivity isn’t going to suffer. It’s going to increase. The people around you are the ones that are ultimately going to benefit from you setting more rails around your time.

You know yourself better than anyone else. That also means you are more qualified to devise a plan and stack the deck in your favor than anyone else. No one else can tell you how to live. They may have helpful suggestions, but at the end of the day you’ve got to make up your mind for yourself.

If you want to achieve next level productivity, then it’s all about setting yourself layers behind the frontlines. It’s about batch processing your email, returning texts when it best suits you, selectively ignoring communication as you see fit. It’s about delegating tasks and activity that are below your paygrade and handing off tasks to other capable people.

God forbid you might get a book written if you had an hour to spare in your day.

Fundamentally, most people aren’t going to be onboard with you opting to protect your time, and that may well be one of the greatest challenges you’ll face in setting up a moat around your castle.

But it must be done. You can’t get to where you want to go in life if you’re distractable, interruptible, contactable at all hours of the day. Someone will always be there to add to your to-do list.

Certainly, take on anything that’s aligned with your goals. But do it on your own terms. Choose when you return communication. Don’t let someone else tell you how it’s supposed to work. You make the rules.

Your Breakthrough is an Expression of Who You Are

Your Breakthrough is an Expression of Who You Are

If you’re trying to find success away from your identity, stop.

So many of us are trying to do things we were never set up to do in the first place, because we think it’s what people want. We think it’s where we’re going to find success.

But what it amounts to is forcing a square peg in a round hole.

You can’t play peek a boo with yourself and expect to be rewarded for it. Breakthrough only happens where self-expression and activity are fully aligned. Your identity holds the keys to your breakthrough.

If you’re an aspiring guitarist who doesn’t like social media, then social media is not the path to the outcomes you desire.

Look at what you’re already doing. What do you enjoy? Where do you like to spend your time?

If you like video games, guess what? There’s a niche for video game style music. You could market yourself as a video game guitarist and play Comic-Cons all over the world. You wouldn’t need to build a fan base because the fan base is already there. Strategy? Your only strategy would be to love the living hell out of what you do and to be a good hang.

Where self-expression and activity aren’t fully aligned, there’s always forcing, and in a game of chicken, the Universe always wins.

How will you know when self-expression and identity are fully aligned? When you’re excited and scared at the same time. Anything less is not an endeavor worthy of your attention. Anything less is at a lower vibration compared to the person you’ve expanded to become. You’ve got to go a step beyond. If it isn’t expansion, it’s a cop-out, an imposter masquerading as opportunity, a counterfeit.

Don’t try to cater to the masses. Instead, go inside and discover what’s there. Notice what you love doing and match up your activity with that.

You’re Important Because You Say You’re Important

You’re Important Because You Say You’re Important

Most entrepreneurs find self-aggrandizing awkward and uncomfortable.

In one way or another, consciously or unconsciously, we’ve all been conditioned to hold back. To avoid appearing cocky or arrogant. To save face. To sidestep drawing attention to ourselves.

But if you don’t act as though you’re important, who’s going to do it on your behalf?

More certificates, diplomas, degrees, and doctorates won’t make you any more important. No awards or commendations will make you more important. Even being “discovered” won’t make you any more important than you already are, and it probably won’t happen, especially if you act as though you are unimportant.

You can’t wait for permission because no one is going to give it to you. There is simply too much going on in the world. Everyone is building towards their dreams. If you can’t find a way to integrate your goals with the goals of others, you should not expect to receive much help or recognition. If you don’t know what’s important to the people you’re working with, do not expect them to stick around. At some point, they will leave, and they won’t come back.

Hiding behind a corporate logo is a sure way to lose. People don’t connect with brands; they connect with the people behind the brands.

Place your photo everywhere, on your business cards, in your email signature, in the sidebar of your website. It doesn’t matter whether you like being photographed or how you appear in a photograph. Showing your face is a crucial and necessary step to self-aggrandizing.

Whether you’re an award-winning entrepreneur, a best-selling author, certified life coach, or anything else of note, hammer it repeatedly in your media. And if you haven’t accomplished anything of note, either set out to achieve something in the next year or study the process of manufacturing influence.

Have others talk you up. Get someone to introduce you on your webinars or at your live presentations. Have one of your top clients create a video sales letter for you and get them to share the amazing results they got and why others should hire you or buy your product immediately.

You’re important because you say you’re important. Self-aggrandizing is the first step to being perceived as important and influential by others.

Everything in the Moment

Everything in the Moment

You can live life on your own terms. It doesn’t matter at all what’s going on around you.

Your day may be booked with back-to-back meetings.

You may have 5,000 words of copy to submit to your client by end of day.

You may need to wake up at 5:30 AM, get your kids ready for school, head off to a job you don’t like, pick up your kids from school, and work on your business at night.

It makes no difference whatsoever.

It’s up to you how you show up. It’s up to you what you show up to. Your participation is yours to cause.

Of course, do what you’ve committed to. Keep your word. Follow through.

If you don’t intend to, get into conversation with the people who will be affected. Acknowledge why you’re not coming. Take a moment to understand the impact it will have on the stakeholders and take full responsibility for it. Do right by them.

Not doing this will erode your confidence. You’ll begin to second guess yourself. And that’s a negative spiral you can’t allow into your life. You want to be the first person who speaks up when it seems like the least comfortable.

But even the impossible will seem possible when you’re present and in the moment.

Even when you’re double booked, you’ll find a way to make it work.

Even if you’re driving while the meeting is happening (not recommended), there’s a way to participate in the conversation that’s unfolding.

You think you can only do one thing at a time, in an orderly, sequential fashion. And it’s categorically not how successful people operate. They’re out making a mess while you’re trying to get all your ducks in a row.

You assume that juggling a full schedule would be stressful. But it’s the opposite – it’s exhilarating!

You believe that it takes a long time to coach someone or to help them understand where you’re coming from. It doesn’t. If you’re straight, direct, and authentic, the conversation doesn’t have to last for hours. You can lead someone to a meaningful solution. You can create a connection. Transformation is now.

Nothing takes time. Time is an illusion. Overwhelm is an illusion. Everything is in the moment.