The Fantastic Life

The Memories We Tell Ourselves


When you tell others your story, what details do you include? Where you were born? What you do for a living? Specific moments made you who you are? 

Seth Godin is one of the top 50 bloggers in the world and I read his material daily.  I have shared other blogs by Seth because we see the world through the same lenses.  Rule #1 of The Fantastic Life is to Know your Story.  Below is Seth’s take on this rule.

Make sure your internal stories are good ones,

Rule #1 from my book The Fantastic Life: Know Your Stories
Make your story a good one, one that you share with yourself and the world to understand your place in it. The path to the Fantastic Life is difficult and full of distractions. Knowing your story helps you stay focused on who you are, and who you want to be.

The memories we rehearse are the ones we live with

A million things happened to you today. The second bite of your lunch. The red light on the third block of your commute…

Tomorrow, you’ll remember almost none of them.

And the concept that you’d remember something that happened to you when you were twelve is ludicrous.

What actually happened was this: After it (whatever that thing you remember) happened, you started telling yourself a story about that event. You began to develop a narrative about this turning point, about the relationship with your dad or with school or with cars.

Lots of people have had similar experiences, but none of them are telling themselves quite the same story about it as you are.

Over time, the story is rehearsed. Over time, the story becomes completely different from what a videotape would show us, but it doesn’t matter, because the rehearsed story is far more vivid than the video ever could be.

And so the story becomes our memory, the story gets rehearsed ever more, and the story becomes the thing we tell ourselves the next time we need to make a choice.

If your story isn’t helping you, work to rehearse a new story instead.

Because it’s our narrative that determines who we will become.

Seth Godin
November 17, 2016

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