“Seek out the story you want to live, not the story you want to tell,” Jay Shetty. The reason behind doing something changes the message entirely. Shetty uses the example of going to a national park and lining up to get the same curated, perfect shot everyone else has on their phones versus going on a different path or to a different park entirely and just being there. The difference in the two actions is motivation. Do you want the “perfect” shot because you want more likes on social media? Or are you trying to share something meaningful in your life? Or do you even need to share it at all?
The most meaningful experiences come from the things we want to do, the things that have meaning to us personally. Life is built on the things we have done and experienced and the things we have chosen to bring into our little bubbles. Life is what we choose to make of it. With that being said, we have choice in all we do. We get to choose whether or not we go on that vacation, whether or not we accept that invitation, whether or not we are going to attend that function. The story isn’t about what looks good or how it flows together. I actually used to write that way—I wanted things to sound a certain way so I never bothered creating characters, I created lines and words that said what I wanted instead of an organic telling of the experience. The story is about what we choose to do with our time.
Life is rarely a series of perfect events with a pretty bow wrapped around it. We don’t need to pretend that’s what happens for the majority of us. It isn’t about the image we show the world, it’s about knowing inside that you live in a way that feels right to you. You don’t need approval, likes, or permission to have a valuable life. Live a life you value and the rest falls into place. The ego, and maybe human nature itself, loves the idea of a story, of a legacy to leave behind. I mean, it is pretty natural to want to leave a mark on the world, and to have some impact on people. But how we do that isn’t in fame or in how many views we have. The real measure is in the lives we touch. Yes, perhaps that story will be told over and over again and it may even be shared historically, but living in the day and sharing our gifts with others is legacy in itself. Live well. Live authentically. The rest takes care of itself. It’s not the story we tell, it’s the story we live.