Setting outrageous goals, part 3 – write the story of your life

Posted on December 21, 2009

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Updated to add the picture: Sitting on stone by artist Timur Tsaku.  Click on the picture or on the link to see more gorgeous work by this artist.

Once upon a time there was a witch who spoke the truth.  And the people were afraid of her, for no one wanted to hear the truth.  The witch did not care for the opinions of others, and when she traveled from place to place, she would point her long, calloused finger at the sinners and call out their sins.  When she entered the big cities, people would hide inside their houses and warn their friends to stay away from her.  The witch was not popular in the big cities.

One day, she passed through a small town and decided to take a break from the finger-pointing and sinner identification business.  Instead, she sat down and started to write stories.  The writing was hard, for stories must contain both light and darkness, and the witch only knew darkness.  She sat, watching the sun make its journey across the sky and thought about light.  She watched the birds and the beasts soak up the rays of the sun as if the warmth and the light nourished them as much as food and water.  She watched and she thought.  And then, she wrote.  She shared her stories with the world.  And when the people read her stories, they wanted more.  They came to her house (she had by then settled in the unnamed small town) and asked her to share her stories.  The stories were always difficult for the witch.  But she continued to write them, for she found that she liked talking to the people who came by, and she preferred being a beloved storyteller to a feared truthsayer.  Eventually the people forgot that she had ever been a fearsome witch, and they merely called her the storyteller.  And that was enough.

Remember reading fairy tales when you were little?  Remember feeling swept away by the magic of the story, wanting to be the hero, save the kingdom, solve the puzzles, win the race?  What if you could be the hero of a great story? What type of story would that be?  Who would be the villain, what would be the problems and conflicts, how would the hero triumph in the end?

Here’s an idea: write a little heroic tale about YOU.  YOU ARE THE HERO. What’s your secret power?  How do you overcome adversity?  Don’t worry about making it realistic, in fact DON’T make it realistic.  Just let your imagination and your delight guide you.  It’s YOUR story.  How does it go?  How does it end?  The key is – make it YOUR story, something that might help you imagine yourself in your calling.  Remember playing dress up?  Dress your self-image up in your story.  And see what happens.  Keep it under a page long, but have fun with it.  Would love to know how it goes – please share in the comments!

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