People inherently like stories. We are drawn to them, captivated by them, and motivated to follow them.
How we choose to see the world, and experience it, is largely shaped by stories; personal stories, family stories, social stories, work stories…
In this way, stories provide a clear beginning and a clear end; as the storyline unfolds, so does ones path.
This way of thinking paints a pretty story in itself…
Yet, what if our stories, the personal narratives we write for ourselves, actually limit us?
“We all love to tell personal stories of adversity and triumph, but how do they prepare us to navigate an unpredictable future?” –Andrew Peek
His message was striking and moving.
I have always believed in the power of stories; in owning your own personal narrative. A narrative in which you are the keeper, the director, and the protector. I take pride in having my own story.
Further, the experiences captured in my story, both the good and bad, shape who I am in this world and where I am going. I find safety and security in the narrative, as it reminds me where I have been and where I am going.
Yet, Peek warns against this security.
He warns against getting too stuck in the “warm confines” of our personal narratives-- in fear that, the further we dive into our own story, the less likely we’ll be to ever re-write it. And then, the question becomes, what happens when our stories get interrupted, broken, or confused…
Instead of living in stories, Peek challenges us to live in ideas. If we hit “pause” on our stories, and instead begin to “play out” our ideas, we gain back the ability to grow, adapt, revise, and amend.
Thus, we lift the confines of our path and open ourselves up to new experiences, opportunities, people, and ways of being that expand our narratives.
If we begin to see ourselves as ideas, continuously evolving and experiencing, we give our identity the opportunity to shift, flex, and build.
Truth is, the world is changing quickly. While the growth of our personal narratives is linear, the growth of technology is exponential. To truly bring value into this world, we must allow ourselves the flexibility of acting, interacting, and reacting… like ideas.
Stories can be interrupted. Ideas are infinite.
Aspire to be your own greatest creation--not your own greatest story… -Andrew Peek
Take a minute and think about your own story. Where has it taken you? Where are you going? What have you left behind?
Reflect: Has following your story limited your growth?
Commit to “adding,” by taking on all opportunities to grow who you are, thus, keeping yourself— a work in progress…