Tell yourself great stories
Stories are great. They entertain us and teach us, and today I want to tell you about the most important story of all – the one that we tell ourselves every day.
Imagine someone who tells themselves regularly how fortunate they are, and that good things happen to them often. You can imagine them walking tall through the day, smiling a lot, chatting with people, and you can imagine also that people respond well to them, enjoy their company and feel energized by them.
Imagine another person. This person believes they’re pretty unfortunate in life. Good things don’t seem to happen to them all that often. This person tends to walk with their heads down a little more, doesn’t have many dreams because they don’t tend to come true, and when they do have dreams, they don’t tend to tell anyone in case it doesn’t happen.
British TV hypnotist Derren Brown invited people such as these to come and meet him, secretly testing each of them as they arrived. He planted a £10 note outside, and filmed each person to see if they found the note. The difference between the two groups was vast - approximately 80% of the “lucky” people found the £10 note, compared with around 10% of the “unlucky” people.
Why? Well, the “unlucky” people had their heads down and walked straight past it, while the “lucky” people were walking tall and looking around more. And you can imagine that this kind of event affects each group’s beliefs too – affirming for each what they already know to be true about themselves.
What story do you tell yourself each day? Is life generally good, always working out in the end, or is it full of hardship and struggle? Are others always ready to lend a hand, or are they nice but don’t really offer help much?
How much of your daily experience is created by what’s out there, and how much of it is created by the story you tell yourself every day?