But there’s another more powerful side of Story—the one you create with your life. Shakespeare said, “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” That may have been true in the Elizabethan era, but today’s world of possibility has enabled us to go beyond. You create your world. You write your story every day, with every moment, every breath. From the time you awake, you choose how you feel and how you act. You are the hero on your world’s stage, as well as its director.
Imagine yourself in a movie. You wake up feeling horribly depressed. All you can think about is the job you just lost and the angry words you exchanged with your spouse/girlfriend/boyfriend, the shouting, the pain of being hurt. You were looking for support and instead got accusations. You roll out of bed groggy, you bang your arm on the bedside table, and the pain shoots into your head. You slide to the floor and just sit there, miserable.
Not a pretty picture.
Now imagine a different scene. You wake next to a beautiful man/woman who’s the love of your life. Your heart overflows with gladness and gratitude. Sun shines through the curtains and the birds chirp from a nearby tree. Everything has a golden gleam and you feel like you’re the luckiest person alive.
Which scene do you prefer?
Whether you’re writing a fictional story or real life, each step is guided by your hand. You are the writer and director, the camera man, the grip, the costumer, hair stylist, stunt man, and producer. You decide on the edits and visual effects and sound. At each step along your path you have choices.
Take a look at your story. If you don’t like the way the characters are behaving, what changes can you make? What emotions or actions can you give your characters to produce the outcome you desire?