Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Are you telling your stories (and living your life) as an Opus or a Finale?

I live a day at a time. Each day I look for a kernel of excitement. In the morning I say: "What is my exciting thing for today?" Then, I do the day. Don't ask me about tomorrow.  Barbara Jordan
If you’re like me, you will be aware of what I call the Technology of the Universe or what others may call the Law of Attraction or the Law of Creation.  

Strictly speaking, there is a difference between a *law* and a *technology*.  The first relates to principles and propositions such as ‘If...then” or “Thoughts become Things’ (see Mike Dooley).

Technology, on the other hand, is the tools, equipment and skills that are used in the observance (or ignorance) of laws.  

So, with respect to the Law of Attraction or Creation, you might say that Thoughts, Feelings, Intentions, Desires, Dreams, Focus, Attention and Allowing are the tools and skills that we use, consciously or unconsciously to intentionally or unintentionally observe or ignore the Laws of Attraction or Creation.

You could also say that our apparently discrete or isolated thoughts, feelings, intentions, desires and dreams can be brought into focus or at least to our attention by capturing them in narratives called stories.  

We are all story tellers and we are always telling stories.  Even when we utter a single statement such as

The cat fell off the balcony.

we have told a story.

There is almost no limit to what can be unraveled from such a seemingly simple statement. We only need to consider what questions this statement might spawn to get an idea of what depth and width underlies and surrounds it.

For instance we may ask:

What kind of cat was it?
Why did it fall?
Was it blind or had it lost its balance?  
Was it sick or weak?
How old was it?
Who did it belong to?
How high was the balcony?
Did it hurt itself?
Did anyone see/help it?
Was it a stray?
How long had it been there?
Where is it now?
Who’s looking after it?
What was it called?
Was it taken to a vet?  
Which vet?  
Has this vet been practising long?
Is s/she expensive?
What’s his/her clinic like?
What was s/he like>
Is s/he married?
Was the cat pushed?
Where did it happen?  At home?  At a shop?  A restaurant?
What was a cat doing at a restaurant?
Have the customers ever complained?
Which restaurant was that?  
Could I take my dog there?

You get my point (I hope :)).  

A single and simple statement is a concentration of possibilities and infinite threads that could unravel any number of stories depending on which thread you pick up and how you choose to interrogate it.

So it is with the stories that we tell about ourselves.  I am talking about all the stories that are condensed in the one or two-liners that we routinely, and often mindlessly, say in reference to ourselves.  Things such as:

I don’t do meat.
My life’s a mess.
I hate people/things like that.
I wish I didn’t have to do this.
I don’t always mean what I say.
I’m a skeptic.
I have better things to do with my time.
I hate dishonesty/greed/judgmental people/bureaucracy...
I’m a visual person.
I’m a left-brain person.
I must have my morning coffee or I can’t function properly.

Wouldn’t it be fantastic if these one-liners were the opuses to yet undiscovered and unexplored narratives, multi-faceted, multi-dimensional and sumptuously unpredictable?  

Wouldn’t it be absolutely spell-binding for you to pick up and follow a thread to some thrilling and enchanting provisional destination?  One that will serve as the pick-up point for your next life adventure?

Wouldn’t it be gloriously bewitching to develop a narrative about yourself that even you couldn’t predict by simply allowing new thoughts, new feelings, new imaginings, new desires?  Or giving voice to the old thoughts, feelings and desires that you had ignored or suppressed?

But do you?

Sadly, most people use these one-liners not as opuses but as concluding statements or finales about themselves which they proceed to explain and if necessary, defend.  

It is so uncreative.  So old.  So tired and tiring.  So dead.  So foregone in its conclusions.

Not only do they bore most people with it - people who only listen (or should I say, remain quiet) as they wait their turn to utter their own self- concluding and self-defining finales with their equally boring explanations and tiresome defenses - even more tragically, they bore themselves.  

Effectively, they’ve declared how they’ve chosen to live their lives and how they continue to choose to live their lives.  They give themselves little or no room for change, for exploration, for discovery, for adventure, for thrills, wonders and delights.

Wouldn’t you prefer to speak and live with Opuses rather than Finales?  

Wouldn’t you prefer to open doors of possibilities rather than stay behind the ones you've shut?  Wouldn’t you prefer to imagine how your life could be rather than merely report on how it has been?  Wouldn’t you prefer to contemplate new experiences rather than rehash the ones you’ve had?  

But you’re not going to do that by repeating finales to yourself and others.  Nope.  You’ll only do that by exploring new threads, going through new doors that open into the field of infinite possibilities and making different choices with the tools and skills of the Technology of Creation.  

In short, you’ll have to learn to tell your story every time as an Opus, and occasionally a Magnum Opus, one that virtually hurls you into fresh possibilities!

There’s nothing wrong with remembering and celebrating the past, but seriously, how often do you recount something with a celebratory spirit?

There’s nothing wrong with making choices about how we live either.  We must and we do, whether we like it or not.  But we can allow ourselves to walk into the infinite field of new choices instead of simply relying on the same old choices.  

So, what stories are you about to tell yourself right now?  What will you tell others?  Don’t be afraid to reach far and deep into the imagination, into the collective consciousness where every possibility waits to be given life.  

Don’t be afraid to be inspired by the spectacular stories of others - those whose lives have given us glimpses into the seemingly impossible.  Don’t be afraid to make every story you tell yourself and others a true Opus of breathtaking possibilities!

Here are some ways of beginning and living Opus-like stories:

I wonder what new thing I shall enjoy at work today
This is something I would like to try
What an opportunity this is!
This is surely the start of something exciting
I intend having a wondrously exciting and fulfilling day today
What can I do that might bring a smile to his/her face?
What would happen if I did this instead of that?
How can I cook this differently?
I am so excited about this.

Go on.  Thrill yourself!  Change your stories.  Ditch those tired and tiresome one-liners for some self-inspiring Opiuses!


  1. Thanks TBT. I like it a lot. You seem to be saying that each day has the potential for a new story.
    But you got me thinking about how I answer the question: What are you doing these days? My answer tends to interest people. But I stumble when people ask: What are you hoping to achieve? I don't have much idea - and I don't see how I could have. I think a much better question is: What is your purpose? It is possible to answer that it terms of story about your intentions and how you are using your strengths.

    In my case, I'm writing a book. I don't know what I hope to achieve. When I think about my purpose it isn't to achieve something concrete. It is to help people to understand some things that I think it is important for them to understand. And that's what drives me!

  2. I could really feel the interest and enthusiasm in your comment Winton:) Thank you!

    Of course you have something to achieve - it's the understanding that you hope people will have about certain issues that you consider important for them to understand. Surely that's something you want to achieve, no?

    However, I think that the distinction you make between *achievement* and *purpose* is an important one because, for me, a purpose is like an opus whereas an achievement is a finale :)

    It's great fun to be driven by a purpose, indeed to be taunted and teased by it as it slowly releases its magical perfume, dragging you helplessly in unpredictable directions into unknown (and even virgin) lands :)

  3. "unknown (and even virgin) lands"

    Hmm! For some reason that reminds me of the story of how Ulysses had to get his crew to tie him to the mast to avoid the allure of the Sirens - but that story actually illustrates a situation where he was worried about being distracted from his purpose. I wonder what intention was behind his desire to hear the Sirens sing :)


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