Updated: Oct 27
We all tell ourselves a story of how things were, are, or should be. Taking inventory of this narrative we're choosing to live by determines how we step into the days of our lives.
When I was a teenager who had recently immigrated to the United States, I would tell myself that I was in the land of opportunities and that I needed to make the most out of my high school experience to get into college and achieve success. This narrative helped me to get through different seasons and I think it's alright if it's no longer one that I'm choosing to live by. Now, my narrative centers more on acceptance of what is.
In this blog post, I hope that you'll find practical ways to create a philosophy for life. If you believe you already have this, keep on reading anyway to get a fresh pair of eyes on your life's narrative.
Step 1: Know What You Have Been Through
Knowing what you've been through is a precious form of self-awareness and power. The fact is that you've survived every difficult day in your life and that gives you the strength to keep going.
How you choose to look at the events from your childhood, adolescence, or adulthood will color the perspective you take on life. So, it's not only important to know what you've been through but to have the best filter possible on how you look at your past.
The hurtful things you've survived, the best times of your life, and the moments of pure comfort. All of these experiences have a common thread, like a higher power, relationship, value, or something else that's overarching. If you can figure out what that common thread is, you're in awesome shape to create your trellis--the framework from which things grow.
Step 2: Know Where You Are
We can misuse so much time and energy by wishing to be somewhere else or regretting something that already happened. The present moment holds so much richness if we just remain open to opportunities like appreciating beauty, going slowly and steadily, learning something new, or showing up with a good attitude.
After you have an uplifting or useful narrative for where you came from, it's time to see how it relates to where you are right now. This second step is the most practical one in determining your narrative for living.
If we accept that we're exactly where we need to be in this moment, we can grow into who we are meant to be with more peace.
You have built incredible insight, strength, and resourcefulness by just living, and the good news is that you can enhance this by paying more attention to your day-to-day life.
Step 3: Know Where You Are Going
You might read this step and think that you're not a fortuneteller or God and you don't know where you'll end up. That is absolutely right.
What you do know is that you can keep nurturing the beliefs and values you think are worthy to live by.
It can be overwhelming for me to think about the different ways in which I could build upon my calling. What brings me peace is trusting that God will work out everything for good like it has been done in the past.
When I focus on what I can give rather than what I'll get, I can rest assured that I'll be making my little corner of the world a better place to be. I know where I'm going--someplace that's exactly where I'll need to be. I hope you can find hope in this too.
Step by Step
A story has a beginning, middle, and end. Your life story has a past, present, and future. Any good story brings meaning to those who listen, and creating a narrative for our lives has a similar effect. I invite you to keep a journal if you want to take action in building a narrative for living. Check out this blog post for more insight on journaling.
Ultimately, the narrative that can bring purpose to our lives is based on finding the common thread for the things we've been through, the necessity of the precise moment we're in, and the unknown yet hopeful place we'll be.
How would you summarize the narrative of your life?
Wishing you the best in your journey,