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Writing the Story of Your Life – The Ten Year Rule

writing the story of your life

Writing the Story of Your Life – The Ten Year Rule

The Black Belt Test

A number of years ago I was helping my friend Jason
prepare for his black belt test.

It was a very intensely physical and mental experience.
We spend a few months working on all of his techniques to get him ready.

The Obstacle Appears (as it always does)

On the day of his test he had a severe headache
and could hardly keep his eyes open from the pain.
He came to me and asked me if I had
a Tylenol to take the edge off the pain.

Do I Take The Blue Pill Or The Red Pill?

When he had the pill in his hand
he suddenly started to question if
he really wanted to take it or not.

He was wondering if he should persevere through the pain
or lessen the headache so that he could perform better on his test.

He asked me for my opinion and I told him
that I couldn’t make that decision for him.
What I could do is share with him
how I often make decisions in situations like this myself.

The Ten Year Rule

What I will do is employ what I call the 10 year rule.

I picture myself 10 years from now
telling the story of this moment and
I imagine what I want the story to sound like.
What kind of story will be the most fulfilling for me to tell?

Usually the answer is quite clear to me when I do this.

Obviously this approach doesn’t apply in all circumstances.
It could probably work against you in some situations!

I Know What I Have To Do

When I told him about the 10 year rule
he looked me in the eye and said:
“I know what I have to do.”

To this day I don’t know
if he took that pill or not.
I honestly didn’t have a preference
for which decision he made.

I just wanted him to make the one that
was the most authentic for him in that moment.

I could see by the look on his face that he did.

We Write Our Own Stories

I do find however that seeing my life as a story
that I myself am writing helps me to make decisions
and feel a sense of creative control.

What kind of story do I want to write?
What kind of life do I want the main character to have?
What kind of ending am I hoping for?

In all aspects of my life,
artistic pursuits,
and professional experiences
I am writing the story.

I Want To Write an Inspiring Story

When I look back upon all of this
I want to feel it has been a good and worthy story.

Hopefully a story that also helps and inspires others
to write glorious tales of their own lives.

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