I want to talk about telling stories about how things used to be vs. how they are now. The main theme being that you tell a story about how great things used to be and that’s why you can’t be happy right now. This is a damaging story that often ruins how things are right now. This is a story that I’ve told a lot in my life and I’ve seen a lot of other people tell it.
If you are aware of the format of this story then you don’t have to keep telling it. You don’t have to be locked into the trap of how good things used to be and now things aren’t good anymore.
That sounds like this.
For example, “Back when I played football in high school, everything was so good. Life was great, there was nothing to worry about. I got to have a great life with my friends and now that I have a job and now that I have responsibilities, life’s boring. It’s not fun anymore and I’m not sure what to do with my life. I’m frustrated and depressed and I don’t like my life anymore.
How many people have you heard tell a story that’s similar to that and you just change up the theme in it? Back when I had this job, I was so happy. I was getting paid much more, no one respects me in this new job. I’m frustrated all the time with how things are. People are wrong, people are mean to me, people don’t respect me anymore. Does that sound like a good story that you want to tell or does that seems like a good story that you want to stop telling? To me, that sounds like a story that’s worth stopping. That story sucks the life energy out of the good old days which could be today. Today could be a day that’s great and where everything is wonderful. Later in life, you could be talking about how great today was.
I try to make today a day that is worth talking about. You do that by giving up those stories of the past. This is a good opportunity as I’m playing Star Wars Battlefront here. I chose this game because it’s relevant here.
I used to play Star Wars Battlefront when the game came out so it would be easy for me to make up a story right here. For example I could say this game used to be good when it first came out but it sucks now. When I start telling a story like that I’m ruining the chance to enjoy the game right now as it is. I’m 0-7.
I could make up a story that I used to be really good at this game, I used to know what I was doing and go positive. I could make up a story about how bad the game is now to make up for the fact that I’m 0-7.
In the previous stories I told, I used to go the whole game without having a hero. The hero is the best chance to do good and play better in the game. The theme of this is as long you keep telling stories about how great things were, it’s hard for things to be good now. If I say this game used to be bad, then I’m not likely to do any good at it. Telling a negative story ruins the potential there is right now to actually do any good. When you give up on trying to say how it used to be then I can just enjoy how it is today.
I have a friend that wants to know how to be happy. He asked me what do I think being happy means. I think being happy is being okay with how things are. When you’re okay with how things are, to me, that’s happy. When you tell a story about how great things used to be and how they’re not like that now, it’s tough to be happy today. You can see the conflict that goes on there when you tell a story about how things used to be good. How are you supposed to be happy now when there’s some fundamental problem with how things are right now?
For me, I find that as long as I’m okay with how things are then I get some good opportunities. These are things that didn’t go well in the past, but I have them today because I’m not focused on how bad my life is. I have the chance to enjoy this game instead of being miserable with how life is. That’s because I’m not worried about how things used to be. If I said this game sucks now for several reasons, then I would’ve had a hard time enjoying this gam today.
I have fun playing this now. Fun things happen because I don’t care what happens. I don’t get mad or upset when I don’t get my way in the game or I don’t do well.
When you don’t tell the story of how things used to be, then there’s new opportunities to have a great life. As long as you’re committed to telling the story of how things used to be, it’s hard to have them be any different. It takes time and energy to say back in high school this is how life was and this is how life is now. It takes time and energy to make up the story of how things used to be. When you spend your time making up a story it takes away from the energy you have to enjoy the game today.
Today, I pray to see things as they are. I pray to give up on the need to make up a story. I pray that you have the chance to do whatever you’re doing with a fresh start and without worrying about how things used to be. Thank you for reading this. I value your feedback. I appreciate you suggesting anything I could do to make this better or serve you better in the future.