Ranjana TN

Creating an interesting story for yourself

I love viewing life from the lens of a story because it enables me to see it at an overall level rather than just the day-to-day happenings. I often am unable to see the forest for the trees especially when I have to zoom out and make plans. That’s one of the reasons I like employing it at the beginning of every year and quarter when I’m making plans. I’m a huge fan of the personal development blogger Steve Pavlina both for the human being he is and the work he does. I came across this concept first time in his uber-popular blog. I’ve been actively applying it to my own life ever since.

Story Arcs

I am currently planning quarter 2 of 2020. This is especially significant for me because, in a way, I feel that I’m not only planning for this quarter but also setting the tone for the next 10 years of my life. I’ve been obsessively thinking about this over the last few days as you would have seen in my previous posts. In all honesty, there are a dozen things I could potentially be working on. To decide on which goals and projects to pick, I like to imagine how the different goals would play out in the form of story arcs. If I’m the protagonist of the story which is my life, how different would the next chapter look like when I choose different goals? For eg., I recently blogged about starting #theyearofme project which focuses on making the next year of my life about self-expression and self-love. Let’s say that instead, I had decided to dedicate the next 12 months to expanding my social circle. That would have created a very different flavour of 2020 very with different results.

The star of your own story

I was reading Mukesh Bansal’s No Limits this evening. He talks about how all of us feel inspired by stories of legends and superheroes. That got me thinking…what if we, for a moment, looked at our own life as a story of a superhero? For just a moment, humour me and don’t let your logic or that negative voice in your head creep in. Just imagine that your life story is actually that of a superhero’s. Whether or not you’ve had a badass past is immaterial. The very next chapter of the book is going to have the most glorious, awe-inspiring heroic stuff from you. What would that look like? If you knew, 100% that you are the star of your story, how would you want that story to go?

You’ll be surprised at the kind of clarity such an exercise might give you about what you want to do next. We seldom allow ourselves to think that we can sculpt the story arc of our life or that we are indeed the star of our own stories. Newsflash: you are.

Creating an interesting story for yourself

If you indeed are the star of your story and possess superhuman powers unbeknownst to the world, you don’t want to write a bland, so-so story that nobody wants to read now, do you? It doesn’t even have to be a superhero story if that’s not your cup of tea. Whatever the genre, you’d want it to be interesting and gripping like the ones you’ve read in books or watched in movies. Here’s the other thing – what kind of ‘interesting’ you want it to be from chapter to chapter is completely up to you. That’s where you can leverage the power of your imagination to decide on what kind of a story arc would make it the most worthwhile for you.

The better the story resonates with you, the greater the chances that you will do all that’s in your power to make it happen. Now go create that magnum opus:)