Many times in my line of work, I have the opportunity to help individuals on their own personal stories. I don’t necessarily mean the kind they write down for others to read, but their life purpose; the one that drives them every day, one that makes their life meaningful. “Be Your Best Story” is a phrase I use frequently with my clients. I love this phrase. Within it lies the same process I help organizations to better serve their clients.
Notice it’s not “know your best story” or “write your best story” or even “act out your best story.” The concept of “being” your best story presupposes the need to KNOW & DO.
The process of “becoming” is one of knowing, doing and then being.
KNOWING… Your Screenplay
You must first know what your story is to be. Sometimes it helps if you substitute the word “purpose” for story; they are essentially one in the same. Ask yourself, “what do I want to be remembered for”, or “how do I want to make a difference in the world.” Make certain your purpose makes a difference. Look around you, find a need, and fill it; find a problem, and solve it. Clarify on paper what the final state will be like; use great detail in your description. List out the benefits to others and to yourself, this gives you the leverage needed to make your story happen.
DOING… Act Well Thy Part
Shakespeare once wrote “What E’er Thou Art, Act Well Thy Part.” When you know your plan, your screenplay, it becomes a matter of sticking to your part, and acting it out well. Sometimes it’s harder than others; those are the times you need to “fake it till you make it.” The actions will become more natural and comfortable the more you do it. Remember the first time you drove a stick-shift? It was probably a little rocky at first, then became easier. Now you can probably do it so naturally that you can talk on the phone, drink your coffee and change the radio station all at the same time.
We know that if we can do an action for 3 weeks, it becomes a habit, a more natural part of our everyday actions. In time we become the storied star in our mind’s eye; we become what we consider the most. If we constantly worry about our finances rather than imagining ourselves financially secure, we will become the unhappy pauper we dread. If we constantly stress about our marriage or other important relationships rather than enjoying the time together, we will become the “gloomy Gus” and the heavy anchor of an otherwise promising relationship.
My dear friend, author and speaker Larry Ransom (author of “TAG! You’re It!”), tells how so many people think they must HAVE-DO-BE: “If I can HAVE all I want and need, then I can DO all that I want, and ultimately BE the person I dream of becoming.” Larry says they have it all backward. He says the secret is to BE-DO-HAVE: “I will BE the person I dream of becoming, then that will drive what I DO on a daily basis, so then I can HAVE all that I need and want.” I like that.
So, the choice is simple, “to BE or not to BE.” Go ahead now, “BE Your Best Story.”