So, the good news is we don’t have to live in the past – it was a lesson, not a life sentence! We can re-write the script at anytime and these aren’t just empty words intended to poke at you and leave you wondering (like I did, for so long) ‘Yes, but how? When this is my circumstance, or that seems my luck?’ Of course, you can read the many real-life examples that I give you in the book, ‘The Will To Surthrive.’
But this week, in my blog, I am going to give you some condensed secrets – well, not secrets – but some insider knowledge. And the first one is this – rewrite your past.
I know that I talk about authenticity so much, alongside integrity and being honourable so I don’t mean lie about it and make it up. It’s no good pretending that you went to Oxford University and attained a First Class Honours in Organic Chemistry, if like me, you studied drama in Kent. You can already predict the finale in that kind of fourth wall drama. What I mean is that you should become the director and producer of it – just as if you were staging a show. Your own.
I had a really inspiring real-time example of this yesterday from my brother, who has, in the past been known to catastrophise his ‘bad luck’ and blame it on our troubled, shared up-bringing. A stroke ended his working life, back at the beginning of the year. He had been driving coaches for a well-known national holiday company – a job which he absolutely loved – and he was forced into re-examining his lifestyle and his choices. It was the biggest wake-up call!
He finished work abruptly and at first, bemoaned his bad fortune, along with his poor health. But he has children and Grandchildren and is a wonderful story-teller and an effervescent life and soul of any party, with a brilliant sense of fun and a wicked sense of humour, and he is an avid sports fan and a genuinely kind and gentle soul and he really does have so much to live for. So, these qualities had room to breathe in the time that he was forced to be introspective and they quickly bubbled to the surface, along with his will to surthrive!
Yesterday, he rang to tell me that, in the horror of the collapse of said coach company, if he had stayed on, he would have been given £10,000 redundancy. I was ready for his reaction, expecting him to be lamenting his poor fortune and just about to launch into my usual director’s role to try to get him to see another perspective when he beat me to it. He said that he had been goaded by the guy who had called him, who had received the package, but had responded with the fact that he is mighty lucky, as, if he had stayed on he wouldn’t be alive to accept it anyway and could have resulted in a tragedy way above any loss of any monetary compensation.
A lesson for both of us. I need to butt out and concentrate on directing my own show and leave him to direct his. It will be no surprise to me, if in the coming days, I am writing to tell you about how he has been further rewarded for his change in attitude although he already has. Not only is he several kgs lighter; he is lifted of the heavy load and burden of bearing his past!