A tale of two stories

I know two people who went through a tough experience two decades ago.

One of them told themselves the story of hope after the experience. They resolved to look for growth from the pain, seek forward momentum, and find excuses to spread love.

The other told themselves the story of pain. They resolved to remember the pain, look back to reflect on the perceived injustice, and find excuses to be hurt and spread hurt.

There’s a powerful, life-changing even, learning here about the power of the stories we tell ourselves. But, the more interesting learning comes from observing the power of seeing folks live these stories over a long period of time.

Like everything we choose to do on a daily basis, the impact of these stories compounds. Despite more challenges they’ve had to face, the person who told themselves the story of hope has become the most positive people I’ve met over time. The challenges they’ve faced have only strengthened their resolve to find hope, love, and possibility.

Alas, the person who told themselves the story of pain is at the other end of the spectrum.

There are some stories we tell ourselves everyday. It pays to be aware of their compounding impact on our attitude over time.

And, if they aren’t working for us, then it may be time to change them.