Live the story you want to tell
His words swayed me in the breeze like a thousand swinging trees, in a forest lying next to stormy seas. The storm was coming, but it was adventure on the wind and I’m lost on my way to the only one for me.
We are the authors of our experience. In our story there are chapters, plots, characters, heroes, villains and pivotal moments. And as all good stories go, everything makes sense in the end.
Choose your own adventure
We’re all yearning for an extraordinary life story, but having an amazing story doesn’t come from planning out the perfect life, it comes from embracing the surprises that take you on an amazing adventure—you didn’t see coming.
The story line of life isn’t linear. There are options, each leading to more options and then to one of many endings. Choosing your own adventure means letting go of the natural desire to fit in and it means taking the road less traveled. To find your path you must follow the clues that lie in your passions and purpose, the people you meet, the setbacks you encounter, the lessons you learn and the places you go. Collecting moments over many years leads you to find the themes in your life and those create your map—they show you the way.
In the classic adventure story the adventurer leaves home, encounters great hazards, risks horrible death and then eventually returns wiser than she was before—sometimes even with an amazing lover.
An adventure is an exciting and probably risky endevour that has an uncertain outcome, but adventures can take us to extraordinary places and towards incredible people. Adventure reminds us that there’s so much more to experience and we don’t yet know the end of our story.
The best stories start with the most unlikely characters. A main character has at least one flaw or weakness because perfect characters are not very interesting. If a character is perfect, it’s harder to connect with and empathize with them. So stop trying to be perfect and embrace the unique person you are!
To be a captivating character you don’t just mindlessly focus on the plot. You trust your gut, venture into the unknown and act in a way that reflects your motivations and values. You’re authentic and true to who you are.
Captivating stories are driven by the characters emotions and pivotal moments that move the plot forward. With naivety towards the danger that awaits them, the character chases adventure, follows their heart, takes big risks, and along the way obstacles and other characters stand in the way. These emotional, intellectual, soul-testing problems are tension—the drama.
A great love story
There’s no story if the characters meet, settle down and live happily ever after. Picking out the perfect person to fit into the perfect life is anti-romance and anti-story, and stories are the way we live our lives. We can find someone with nearly everything on our checklist, but the feeling just isn’t there. A feeling is something that emerges and develops through interaction, shared experiences, vulnerability and the creation of a shared story together.
A great love story needs to have two very well defined, individual characters. Each character must be able to stand on their own, with their own personality, back story, likes, dislikes, goals and desires.
Love doesn’t have an age or a plan and you can’t force it. A great love story has chance encounters, unpredictability, strange matches, periods of separation and sometimes a twist at the end. The other thing to remember is in every great tale, not everything happens in chapter one…we love differently at different times in our life depending on where we’re at in our story.
Everyone is on their own journey
As we move along in our life story, we often get so focused on our path, we forget that everyone else is doing the same. Each person is in a different chapter, learning a different lesson and no two stories are alike.
However grumpy, volatile, disheveled or obnoxious someone is, there’s always a story behind it. It’s important to remember that people are doing the best they can, including you. Give people the benefit of the doubt, because you have no idea what their story entails.
People are rarely out to get us. Nor are they purposefully doing things to upset or annoy us. Most likely they’re doing what they feel makes the most sense, given their experience and personality. There are endless reasons why people do what they do and instead of feeling frustrated because it doesn’t align with your story, pause and take a moment to get curious, ask questions and offer some compassion. You never know what you’ll uncover.
It’s either a good idea or a good story
Playing it safe doesn’t make for a very compelling story. Extraordinary stories are filled with suspense, twists, turns and you have no idea what is going to happen until you turn the page. Your messy past, current setbacks and future disasters will all be part of your story and that’s okay.
Great stories are not reserved for adventure travelers, thrill-seekers and a fearless few. You too can have a captivating life story by trusting your instincts and choosing your own adventure. More often than not, heading down an unknown path leads to something incredible on the other side.
So take the hero’s journey and go for it!