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Are You Just Continuing Your Narrative?
I have a birthday coming up in a few days. It's one of those big-deal ones where you become an age with a zero at the end of it. In my case, forty. So now it's time for some deep, Jack Handy-like thoughts. We seem to forget that every morning we wake up completely fresh. Everything that happened in the past is gone. Yes, the past can have an influence on today, and it's true that you will (likely) wake up with some of the same responsibilities as the day before, like children, spouse, debts, job, etc. Regardless of all that, when you wake up tomorrow morning, you will start with a fresh life, ready to go with an array of skills, contacts, knowledge, and opportunities. Unless you live in a place like North Korea, you have the ability to wield that massive power to do whatever you want and take your new, fresh life in any direction you choose. We forget we have that option. Instead of waking up with a fresh new life we simply continue the narrative. If you're a stressed-out single mother, you'll continue that story. If you're a poor college student, you'll continue that story. If you're in your golden years and retired and bored, you'll continue that story. If you're rich and powerful, you'll continue that story, as you will if you can barely pay your rent. If you have a crappy job or crappy marriage or live in a crappy house or have a crappy body, you'll continue that story. There is a process within human physiology called homeostasis. It's a critical function in that it keeps everything "the same". In some ways this is good, because it keeps your body temperature at 98.6 degrees. In some ways this is bad, since tomorrow morning everything in your system is going to tell you, "Don't change anything. You are who you are. Continue the story." If you live an utterly fantastic life, and every area of your life is more or less exactly the way you want it, then that message is probably okay. However if there are any parts of the story you don't like, you need to do everything in your power to ignore this message. It's not easy. Instead, tomorrow morning when you wake up, you need to take the point of view of a very organized, very motivated, very positive, very excited alien consciousness or spirit from a past life that has suddenly popped into your body and brain and woke up with your life. Instead of worrying about carrying on the story of you life, the good and the bad, this new consciousness would be focused on doing the best it could with what you have and who you are. Try this exercise: Pick your all-time favorite life role model. Someone passionate, amazing. Someone who has done great things. It can be anyone, alive or dead. The only restriction is this person must be the same gender as you. Now envision this person has suddenly woken up inside your body and now has your life. What would this person do? Would this person just "carry on" like you have? Hell no! This person would take all the vast resources at your disposal and use them to create the most amazing life you've ever seen. Guess what? You are that person right now. There is no law that says you need to just keep on doing whatever you've been doing for the past few months, years, or decades. Tomorrow, you wake up fresh. You can do whatever you want. Do what you can, with what you have, right now. - Teddy Roosevelt
This article was originally published on April 17, 2012