Write Your Own Story

Write Your Own Story

Why Study This Mantra...

To learn who you REALLY want to be, what is important to you, and where you want to be headed. This is the first step in a process to take control over your life that will eventually bring you deep contentment and satisfaction! It’s starting to get good!
 
“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.”
– C.S. Lewis

Introduction 

A great life starts with a great story.

Even if you don't think of your story as great just yet, good news: no matter where you are in your life – in your story – the beginning of the rest of your story starts NOW.

Don't write your story for others. Don't worry about comparing yourself to anything other than what you want your story to be. Write YOUR story. Walk your own path.

 

Before you begin...

Before you start thes practices and challenges, take a moment to rate yourself on this mantra. Give yourself a score from 1-10 (10 being the highest). 

Do this again at the end of a month of practices and challenges. How much have you grown?

 

The Practices

Daily Practice

Story Affirmation

Today's affirmation: "I own my story."

My mantra will be my reminder. Each time I put it on, and each time I look at, I will ask myself whether or not I'm living my story.

  • Am I living toward the future story I wrote?
  • What did I do that was on course?
  • What could I stop doing?

     

    Monthly Challenge

    Write Your Story

    At the beginning of the month, pre-write your life story as you hope it will play out. This should be your ideal, best-case scenario. You should leverage what you learned from your Life Calibration Assessment for some inkling as to what the plot of this story should be. If needed, rewrite the present (WHY you are where you are in this moment) in a way that's in line with your story. That's okay.

    Now for the hard part: Assess your present life. What needs to change course to direct you toward that future? Take the month to re-calibrate. Your goal is to end the month pointed toward the new future in your new story. Headed toward that passion.

    Is that too soon? Waiting for something? Sometimes that thing you're waiting on is justified; sometimes it isn't. Be honest with yourself. If it's justified, set goals. Set a path for yourself for how and when you can get there. And when it's time, seize the day.

    Story Journal

    As I remove my mantra tonight, I will take 1-2 minutes to write the following things into a journal:

    • Am I living toward the future story I wrote?
    • What did I do that was on course?
    • What could I stop doing?
    • What news do I have?
    • What are my goals and wishes for tomorrow?

       

      The Reasoning

      Envision the Process that Will Deliver Your Desired Outcomes

      It’s easy to envision what life would be like if you had a different job, if you had more money or if your health was better, but we often don’t take the time to envision each of the steps it will take to achieve that goal.

      In a paper titled “Envisioning the Future and Self-Regulation”1, Shelley E. Taylor, Ph.D. at UCLA distinguishes that it’s much more important to mentally map out the steps necessary to achieve a desired outcome than it is to simply imagine the rewards at the end of the journey. Not only did test subjects perform better on college tests/projects when spending 5-7 minutes per day mentally working out the necessary study time and research work, she found that simply imagining a good outcome on the goal increased the initial motivation to get started working on the task earlier. But did not lead to better outcomes. There are a whole host of reasons she describes that explain the underlying link between mental simulation and outcomes, including its constraints to reality, its link to problem solving activities, and many others.

      This is why your Bodhi Band journey is focused on defining small steps that help lead you to the larger goals you define for yourself!

      Imagining the Future Can Lead to More Far-Sighted Actions

       

      We as humans tend to discount the rewards that will be received far in the future. This concept is referred to as “temporal discounting.” Unfortunately, many of the most meaningful goals in our life are achieved over a long period of time rather than overnight. Rome wasn’t built in a day right?

      In further support of Professor Taylor’s research above, a 2011 study titled “A neural mechanism mediating the impact of episodic prospection on farsighted decisions”2 by Roland G Benoit, Sam J Gilbert & Paul W Burgess draws links between imagining a future goal and taking actions that support more long-term thinking. It becomes a way for our minds to lessen the impact of temporal discounting, and assign more value to longer term decisions. 

      That’s why using an initial blend of goal setting followed by a switch to developing the intermediate steps is how you’ll be set up for success in achieving some of your long term goals!

      Further Reading

      We recommend Writing to Heal on APA. 

       

      References

      1. Envisioning the Future and Self-Regulation Shelley E. Taylor, Ph.D. https://taylorlab.psych.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2014/11/2011_Envisioning-the-Future-and-Self-Regulation.pdf
      2. Benoit RG, Gilbert SJ, Burgess PW. A neural mechanism mediating the impact of episodic prospection on farsighted decisions. J Neurosci. 2011 May 4;31(18):6771-9. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.6559-10.2011. PMID: 21543607; PMCID: PMC6632845.