Does it help

As you walk into that meeting today, there’s a narrative inside your head. This narrative is about the meeting and the people in it. It is worth asking – “Does it help?”

There probably was a narrative as you woke up this morning as well. That narrative covered your family, your day and your default frame of mind.

And, there will also be a narrative as you walk into your desk at work today. This one will talk about your perceived role in your organization and your capacity to do things that matter. Did it help you walk in energized?

Narratives are critical. They drive a collection of default behaviors executed in a certain pattern every week. Since it is hard to be conscious 100% of the time, life would be difficult if it weren’t for our these default behaviors. So, we make it easy for ourselves with simplifying narratives.

But, and the but matters, these simplifying narratives aren’t representative of reality. In fact, it is hard for us to identify that reality given our various biases. Besides, we’re capable of manufacturing both intense happiness and sadness inside our heads.

So, a nice way forward is to simply treat the narrative as a tool by asking – “Does it help?”

If it helps us stay inspired and happy, great. On the other hand, if it only brings out the worst in us, change it.

We can.