If you feel your life is on a boring and mind-numbing repeat day after day with no end in sight, it’s time to make changes and be the hero of your own story.
One way to get the most out of life is to look upon it as an adventure – William Feather
When Life is Grim
It’s 6 o’clock in the morning and your alarm is going off. You dread the thought of going to work another day, so in a futile attempt at making the day go away you hit the snooze button. Now it’s 6:09 am and if you don’t hurry and get out of bed you are going to be late for work.
Not that you really care since it is a soul-sucking job anyway, but you do need the money. You look back on your college years and reflect on all the broken promises. You were promised an amazing career if you got your degree. You were promised a good life once you had that diploma in hand.
In reality, life is grim and the future looks bleak. You check out your Facebook page and notice a couple of your friends on vacation; one in Italy the other in Miami. It’s been a long time since you took a vacation. You then check out your Instagram and see that your cousin is expecting a baby, and another friend just bought a house. You still live in your apartment.
After eating breakfast and hopping in the car you arrive at work. Your boss informs you that you got something wrong with your latest report and he expects a new one by this afternoon. More work for you.
You plow away revising the report when you hear a cubicle neighbor on the phone. She is talking to someone and mentions how she has been with the company for over 30 years. You have a mild panic attack as you visualize yourself sitting at this same desk, doing this same mind numbing work for 30.long.years.
That’s enough to break any person, but especially for you who had a vision of what your life was going to be like coming out of college. You were going to conquer the world, instead your world is set on Repeat punctuated by weekends.
You Were Meant to be Remarkable
The fact of the matter is you were born to be great! You weren’t meant to waste your life away at some soul-sucking job.
The problem is over the years you were misled. You had the belief that if you were a good boy, and did what was asked of you, you would be rewarded with a good life. So instead of creating your own story, you lived the life that was expected of you, hoping for the best.
Stop living in other people’s stories! In most of their stories, you aren’t even a secondary character. You are a background character who needs to get a report done. It is time to stop, and it is time to start to be the hero of your own story!
Instead of living a life that was created for you, create your own life! And to be quite honest, you only get one shot at this thing called life and it’s too short to live someone else’s story. Nobody grows up dreaming about becoming R2-D2, or Frodo’s Merry and Pippin.
Everyone wants to be the hero.
Everyone wants to make a difference.
Everyone wants to know at the end of the day that their time on earth mattered.
Create Your Life To Liberate Your Life
I’m here to tell you that this is possible! You can create your own story, and you should be the hero of your own story too!
Growing up, my philosophy in life stated that if I conformed to the wishes of those around me I would have a happy life. It made sense. If I sacrificed my wants and desires for those around me, we should all be happy right?
This philosophy seemed to serve me well. I went to college, got married, and had two kids. I was living the American Dream. Until it all came crashing down.
I was working at a job where my bosses would constantly yell at me. They were high pressure big city types trying to make the same business model work in rural Idaho. I was miserable.
After a much needed vacation, my family and I came home. We went inside and my wife handed me a packet of papers filing for a separation.
I was blind sided. My whole life, I had lived to make others happy! How could this be happening to me?
I was mostly numb during the course of the divorce. I didn’t want to feel. I would go to work then come home and curl up in the fetal position while crying. Just to do it all again the next day.
With time I realized something had to change. I began a journey of discovery. Nothing seemed to resonate with me until I rediscovered the concept of the heroic journey.
The heroic journey is a story arc that has been used throughout the ages. It outlines the cycle a hero goes through in order to complete his quest.
I realized that my life here on this earth is a heroic journey, but I’ve been playing the sidekick in everybody else’s story! As I analyzed the story structure I realized where I was stuck and what I must do to move my story forward as the hero.
Will you still play minor roles in other people’s stories? Yes, but instead of your primary identity being a reactive one to the lives of those around you, you will proactively create a life that is perfect for you.
When you create your story you set the rules for how you live a successful life.
Maybe going on long vacations is how you define a successful life. Maybe starting your own business is how you define a successful life. Or maybe being a good parent is how you define a successful life.
It honestly doesn’t matter how you define what a successful life is because we all have different definitions of what it means to live life successfully. What is important is that you understand that you can create that life!
The liberating idea here is that you don’t have to buy into the idea that you have to get a house, have 2 children, and work a 9-5 job in order for your life to be successful.
Go back to a time when you were a child. What did you wish you could do when you were all grown up? Go back to the time you were in college. How did you dream about changing the world once you graduated? Those are both a couple of good questions to ponder when it comes to writing the rules for your life.
Imagine how it will feel for the first time proactively creating the life that you deserve, instead of reactively living somebody else’s story.
My wife is not a morning person. She would rather jump into a pit of snakes than wake up early. To be honest she doesn’t do her best work in the morning anyway. She does her best work towards the afternoon and evening.
She was working at a job that required her to be at work early. One day, she decided she wasn’t going to live that kind of life and so she started up her own business where she could sleep in as late as she wanted. At this time she may not be making quite as much money as she used to, but her quality of life and levels of happiness have gone through the roof.
You can design life the way you want it to be. I’m not telling you to go out and quit your job right now and start your own business. I am telling you that deep in your heart, you having burning desires, wants, and ambitions and it’s okay to proactively pursue those things. I am telling you that there are things in your life that are dragging you down, making you miserable and diminishing your levels of happiness. It’s okay to proactively make plans to cut those things out of your life.
Once you realize that you are in charge of your life, everything changes. Instead of dreading the alarm clock in the morning, you look forward to it. Your life is so full of purpose and hope and excitement that getting up in the morning is exhilarating. You may even notice that you don’t need coffee to get you going in the morning!
Instead of your co-workers and friends treating you like a pushover, they respect you as an adult.
The most powerful change though is the fact that your life now has context and meaning. You know what you are doing, why you are doing it, and how it helps you become the best version of you.
That empty feeling you had inside of you…gone. That sense of the future only being grim and bleak…gone. That awful feeling of being stuck…gone. Getting burnt out…gone. Being jealous of your friends who seem to have things figured out…gone.
These hopeless feelings vanish as soon as you give your life greater purpose than just making it through the day.