Writing your own story
Thank you for reading Startup Flyby. Today's post is about writing your own story and is about a 3-minute read. The video is an extra 2 minutes if you choose to watch it.
Let's start with a video:
The clip above shows Jeff Bezos discussing his "Regret Minimization Framework." A way of improving your life and making better decisions in the short term by thinking long-term. Before he was about to start Amazon at around age 30, Jeff projected himself forward to age 80 and asked himself— What would he regret more… Staying on his current path and not participating in this thing called "the internet," or going for it and possibly failing. I think we all know the decision he made, and the rest is history.
We can use the same approach in our own lives as well, by writing our own story.
Start from where you are now, and write down your ideal vision for the future.
What would you want your life to look like by the time you were 80? Then work backward to make it happen! By writing your own story, you'll gain the clarity to make the best possible decisions in the short term to reach where you want to go in the long term.
It doesn't have to be a full-length novel, just a high-level outline of what's important to you.
"If you want your life to be a magnificent story, then begin by realising that you are the author." — Mark Houlahan.
Now you might be thinking, Jeff had a high-paying wall street job and likely a bunch of savings to be able to quit and pursue his dreams. Probably. But, if it's important to you to pursue entrepreneurial ventures, then having the financial discipline is just part of the journey. The more savings/income you have to fall back on, the more risks you will be able to take. See the three pathways to entrepreneurship for alternate ways to handle this. The last book we discussed covers this as well. It will all depend on your situation and goals.
An important thing to remember is that your story is about you, with you as the hero. This doesn't mean the lofty, save-the-world type of hero you see in the movies. That usually doesn't end well. It's about living to your own highest potential, and being the hero of your own journey, whatever that might be, and not someone else's idea of what you should be doing. The story is only for you. If you think about it, you can't be the hero in other people's stories anyway. Everyone is writing their own story, remember? So obviously, they will want to be the hero of their own story.
But your aim can be just to be one of the good characters in their version. You can be a mentor/guide/friend/inspiration in their story, but you can't be the hero. That's for them to be. You wouldn't want someone else to be the hero in your story, would you?
Here's a good way to look at it— Simply aim to leave an impression on the world that makes other people realize they were happy to have encountered you in their story. Or, as entrepreneur and spiritual teacher Michael Singer put it—
"The highest life you can live is when EVERY moment that passes by you is better off because it did."
Do this often enough, and you might just end up making the world a better place. Now that would be a pretty cool story, wouldn't it?
But… What if you write a magnificent plot for the future and get hit with something completely unexpected along the way? I'd say it's almost guaranteed to happen. That's the beauty of life, the unpredictability of it. The key thing to note is that the plot is just a guidepost. In reality, you will likely encounter obstacles and unforeseen events. But every obstacle is just making the story more interesting and your character stronger when they overcome it. And every unforeseen event can just be thought of as a plot twist. Everyone loves a good plot twist, don't they?
Well then, here's a plot twist …
All this stuff above is really at the core of what makes a great brand.
Think about it …
Just like you,
A great brand has a vision and stands for something.
A great brand has its own story.
A great brand knows that everyone else has their own story.
A great brand helps make the world a better place.
By inspiring other people to make the world a better place.
By bringing out the best in them.
By letting them shine.
By allowing them to be the hero of their own stories.
Keep that in mind as you are designing your brand.
Help people write their own magnificent stories, and you will end up with a magnificent one yourself.
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P.S. - Looking for some inspiring stories? Check out the Flyby Fiction Universe.