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  • Writer's pictureSusan Robertson

Living Your Story: Your Book on Life, Leadership, and Love

Kevin Hart, a comedian, shared this insightful quote about life: "When the final word of the final sentence of the book of your life is written, what will your story be?"


When I first heard this clip on TikTok, I immediately realized I had to find his entire interview. His philosophy profoundly impacted me. The question of "What will your story be?" isn't just a fleeting thought; it's a profound invitation to dig into who we are, what we've done, and what we want for our future.


The Significance of Life as a Story


Life, in its essence, is a collection of stories—the moments of our lives woven together, creating a narrative and a journey. Viewing life as an ongoing story, with chapters yet to be written, provides a window into who we are, what shaped us, the beliefs we developed, and how we connect with others.


Leaders living their life story

For years, I avoided writing because a single experience had convinced me that I wasn't skilled at it, thus shaking my confidence in my abilities. This single experience shaped many chapters of my life until I decided to create a new narrative in the story of my life.


You always have the opportunity to create a new direction and a new narrative. -Susan Robertson

When we think of our lives as books, with past chapters already written and chapters left to write, we remember that every day is an opportunity to write a new page to redirect our story's course.


Roles and Rules 


One of the most fascinating impacts of writing our life story is understanding our myriad roles: parent, leader, employee, partner, and the rules we live by. These roles are like different characters we embody, each with its own script contributing to the overarching plot of our lives. Our rules and beliefs create boundaries that shape our direction, focus, and behavior. The key is to harmonize our roles and rules by recognizing that they are not separate stories but subplots within the same grand narrative.


The roles we play, and the rules we live by, shape the narrative of our story. –Susan Robertson

 

Working with leaders and executives as a mentor and coach, I find that focus, alignment, and balance are paramount. As leaders, we can get caught up in so many side stories that we lose the plot and become unfocused and unbalanced. 

 

Returning to balance involves acknowledging that while each role demands a part of us, rules guide us, and roles and rules collectively contribute to our identity and life's purpose. It's about finding synergy between them, allowing the lessons and growth to inform our decisions and our future.


Leadership


Leading others offers a unique opportunity to deepen our understanding of ourselves, including our beliefs and behavior. Like other aspects of life, leadership provides a distinctive chance for purposeful growth and self-development. By viewing leadership as a crucial subplot in our life's story, we seize the opportunity to be more deliberate about the impact we wish to make, enhancing our overall life journey with intention and direction.



Leaders living their life story


Embracing the Unwritten Chapters


The beauty of viewing life as an unwritten book is the freedom and responsibility it imbues. This mindset encourages us to dream, to set goals, and to embark on journeys, knowing that our story's ending is not predetermined. It's a reminder that mistakes and setbacks are not failures but edits, opportunities to refine our narrative.

 

Here are four steps you can take to adopt this perspective, along with actionable strategies to bring your story to life:




Action 1: Acknowledge the Power of Authorship


  • Reflect on Past Chapters: Regularly set aside time for reflection. Consider the events and decisions that have shaped your life. Identify themes, lessons learned, and how you've grown from your experiences.

  • Envision Your Ideal Story: Think about the story you want your life to tell. What themes do you want it to have? What character traits do you wish to develop? Use this vision as a guide for your actions.


 

Action 2:  Embrace Your Multiple Roles, Rules and Identity


  • Identify Your Roles: Write down all your roles (e.g., parent, partner, leader, friend) and what each means to you. Consider the importance of each role and how to bring out the best you.

  • Seek Balance and Integration: Create goals for each role aligning with your life story. Use time management and prioritization to ensure you're giving attention to each area in a balanced and fulfilling way.


 

Action 3:  Treat Obstacles as Plot Twists 


  • Adopt a Growth Mindset: View challenges as opportunities to grow and learn. Instead of seeing a setback as a failure, consider it a plot twist that adds depth to your story.

  • Develop Resilience: When faced with obstacles, focus on solutions and learning opportunities. Practice resilience by setting small, achievable goals to overcome challenges and celebrating progress.


Action 4. Write Consciously with Continuity


  • Journaling: Keep a daily or weekly journal to document your thoughts, feelings, experiences, and aspirations. Consciously write down the past and extrapolate into the future.

  • Set Goals and Review Them: Write down short-term and long-term goals that align with the story you want to live. Regularly review and adjust these goals to stay on track with your life's narrative.


Individuals can gain greater control and purpose in their lives by taking these steps and implementing these strategies.



Susan Robertson's Quote


How Good is Your Book?


Our life is a book full of chapters ... some are good & some are bad. The amazing thing about it is that YOU WRITE YOUR ENDING! – Kevin Hart

 

Kevin Hart's inquiry about our life's book is a compelling prompt for introspection and inspiration. It encourages us to view our lives as dynamic narratives, rich with potential and awaiting our input to unfold.  As we pen the chapters of our lives, let us do so with intention, courage, consciousness, and a deep sense of purpose, for the book of life is one of our own making, and its final word rests in our hands.


Author:  Susan Robertson

CEO Linceis Conscious Business

 

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