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.