3 Powerful Steps For Finding Meaning, Clarity & Purpose From Your Unique Life Story
Everyone has a story!
And your unique story is designed to serve as a powerful adventure for connecting with a deeper sense of clarity, purpose, and meaning on your life’s journey.
What does this do for you?
Well, it helps you better understand three (3) simple things:
- Direction: where you are going in your life;
- Assignment: what you should focus on doing;
- Purpose: your reason why you do what you do.
If you haven’t realized it, your unique life story is an untapped reserve of wisdom, power, insight, and experiences, which is designed to be your personal rocket boosters, pushing you towards the fulfillment of your destiny, happiness, and success.
Now, you and I both know that success is defined as different things to different people, But I like the definition below which says…
“Success is not what you do as compared to what someone else is doing, but rather, success is what you do compared to what you should be doing”.Dr. Tony Evans
Stories are so powerful that psychologists now tell us that there are six major reasons why we love stories and that they work really well to help us understand life.
The Power Of Stories
Here are just one (1) of these major reasons:
Stories are how we naturally think and make sense of the worldPamela Ruteledge (PsychologyToday.com)
Now, there are seven (7) ways that stories actually help us make sense of life, but for brevity, I’ll just talk about two (2) quick examples:
- Stories help us explain how things work:
The Discovery Channel has a TV series called “How Stuff Works” which I love watching as they take you through the process of how we make literally everything today in our world from cars to planes, to beverages, etc. and it’s exciting to watch the story of how a beverage such as iced tea starts with the tea leaves in the field and ends up on store shelves or the kitchen table.
The Food Network also has a series “Unwrapped” which shows us how the stuff we eat almost every day, is made step by step
- Stories help us understand our place in the world:
if you ever read or watch the Bible story of Joseph, you meet a young man who is the eleventh of twelve sons who for most of his life, is struggling to find his place in the world.
It isn’t until Joseph has been betrayed and sold into slavery by his brothers, falsely accused by his slave master’s wife and thrown into prison, then shares his God-given gift with the Pharaoh and becomes Prime Minister of Egypt, that he understands. As he looks back over his life’s story, he suddenly understands that he was destined to save both his family and the nation of Egypt.
Joseph didn’t really understand his place in the world until he connected with his story and his journey.
So, what’s your story, and more importantly, are you using your story as a powerful resource/tool, to supercharge your life or take your life to your next level.
Here is something really interesting that you should really think about.
Pebble People vs. Putty People
On your life ‘s journey, you can be one of two types of people…
You can be a pebble person or a putty person…
I like learning from smart people and I learned this simple lesson from a writer/author Steve James, in his book “Story Trumps Structure”.
Steve said that pebble people are similar to pebbles in that if you take a pebble and throw it against a wall, it’ll bounce off the wall unchanged. Throw pebble people into different experiences, they often bounce of unchanged
However, if you throw a ball of putty against a wall hard enough, it will change shape; when you throw putty people into different experiences, the experience often changes who they are.
Now, we all have many different experiences, but not all of them are transformative ones, so here is something really powerful.
I personally don’t think you should choose between being a pebble person or a putty person; I believe you should be both; but, you simply use wisdom to know in various life situations when to become like the pebble or like the putty.
There are seasons on your journey when you should be a pebble person; when you have experiences that you simply bounce off and keep moving forward. In your momentive seasons, when faced with negative criticism, dream destroyers (people who try to kill your dreams before they have a chance to grow by telling you what/why things can’t work, etc.), you need to be able to bounce back from those experiences and keep moving forward.
Then there are your transformative seasons when those experiences should be allowed to impact you, reshape your thinking/perspective and begin to shift you in the direction of better happiness and success.
Okay, so let’s talk about those “3 Powerful Steps For Finding Meaning, Clarity & Purpose From Your Unique Life Story”…
When you look at stories, all stories have three basic elements or components:
- 1. The Launch [The Beginning]
- 2. The Journey [The Middle]
- 3. The Landing [The Ending]
Let’s start with a quick overview and examples of the entire process, then we’ll look at each phase, break down the simple process, and walk you through how to quickly script your own story so you can use it to connect with a deeper sense of clarity and meaning in your own life.
All stories, including mine and yours, have the three (3) phases which include the launch, the journey, and the landing, or a beginning, middle and an ending.
Here’s a classic example from the Bible.
“In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth; then He made man/woman and put them into a beautiful garden called paradise;
That’s the launch…
But the story doesn’t end there, it continues as the man and woman are about to take a journey.
God told them not to eat of one tree in the garden and they obeyed and lived happily ever after right. Wrong …Actually, we see conflict entering the story…
The serpent enters the picture and promises them the opportunity to be just like God if they ate the fruit; man chooses to listen to the serpent and the battle of good vs evil continues even today in the hearts and minds of men and will one day come to its final conclusion right…
Now, you don’t have an interesting story unless something goes wrong and needs to be corrected;
…something gets broken and needs to be fixed etc. because the real story is about the journey between the problem and the solution;
…it’s about the journey between the launch and landing; its the in-between that gives all the details and shows all the struggles, the triumphs, and how the characters are affected and transformed by what they experienced.
This brings us to the third point of stories – the landing (how do things end).
From the Bible example, we understand that in the end, good triumphs over evil.
So, at its most basic level, all stories are about a transformation being unveiled—either the transformation of a situation or, most commonly, the transformation of a character; many times, it’s about the transformation of a character in a situation who then gains the strength, wisdom, and courage to change the situation itself.
The landing happens when you have reached a different, higher, or better place in your life because of the journey you’ve been on.
So, as we said earlier, what happens between the launch and landing of your story, or the journey that happens between the start and the ending, is often where the real story takes place; and how you are changed because of that story, hopefully for the better; and this is where clarity and meaning comes from for your everyday life.
Now, just for the sake of clarity, I want you to understand that as we talk about your story, we’re not referencing your entire life’s story, rather, we are talking about a specific place on your journey; so to be clear, when you are thinking about your story, you don’t have to start from birth to this present time…
So here is what to do right now…
Grab a pen and paper and begin to script the launch, journey, and landing of an experience or story within your life; when you have done this, begin to think through the lessons you have learned, the wisdom you have gained, and how that experience has given you an added advantage in your life.