The saint in me wanted to deny it.
I’m sure you know the scenario – you catch a glimpse of someone’s ridiculously ‘nice’ car/house/watch, and you feel a little pang of something. Sometimes jealousy, sometimes inadequacy, sometimes sadness…but always it’s a feeling you’d rather not be feeling, and a feeling your bigger self knows is totally unnecessary.
For me, the moment in question was seeing a guy who is a year younger than me proudly parading his new Ferrari on facebook.
For a brief moment, the conditioning kicked in and the tape of inadequacy began to play…“Look at that. He’s younger than you. You have just as much talent. How lazy you must be. Always dreaming big, but living small…”
Your internal dialogue may be different in the words it uses, but I’ll wager its tone and general message is pretty much the same.
So what’s going on? What’s happening when a large lump of metal and with some leather seats, or a fancy giant stone box with a roof, or a tiny round lump of mental that ticks can cause an such instant state change in us, and can kick in the internal chatter loop entitled “not good enough”?
The simple answer is that we are choosing a shit story.
A story, moreover, that is not of our making, but has instead been sold to us by companies and institutions with a vested interest in making us literally ‘buy into’ their story.
Ironically, this story we have been sold is a story that tries to condition us to reject the value of stories. Compelling us instead to value ‘things’ – which usually have a price tag attached to them.
We no longer value the stories that emerge when one is part of a genuine community, engaged in the shared raising of children, and in the hugely vulnerable, yet equally powerful experience of being mutually dependent on one-another.
It seemed for a time that we would lose our collective memory of what it meant to value stories instead of things. Thankfully there is still joy and beauty and love in the world, and when these wonders exist then there will always be stories that captivate and inspire us.
The challenge, however, is to be able to consistently rise above the vast, enslaving machinery of the world of things. We need to know how to move beyond its persistent conditioning, its debt, its stress and arrive at a place of heart, of authenticity where we can do our best and most meaningful work joyfully.
Today, I am going to give you the super simplified ‘in a nutshell’ version – where I hope I’ve succeeded in distilling ten years of research into 300 words plus one picture.
If you would like to really know the nut inside the nutshell, meaning the actual ways to implement the key idea I’ll be sharing, then I’d like to invite you to my latest free online training class entitled: New Story, New You.
It’s happening this Sunday June 1st from 7.30 – 9pm.
You’ll definitely love the class if any of the following describes you:
You want to feel like the work you’re doing actually matters
You know you have more to give, but it’s being suffocated by the system we live in
You are massively frustrated with how things are in the world
You are desperate for a bit more spark in your life
Sunday’s free class will be very different from your typical passive learning experience. It will be pure, unadulterated Transformational Storytelling…and the story we will be transforming is Yours.
Now to make good on my promise to share with you the essence of one of the core ideas I’ll be expanding on in Sunday’s session.
They say a picture speaks a thousand words, so I’d like to introduce you to my much loved Vaxhuall Astra.
What are your first impressions?
What if I told you this was more valuable than the Ferrari we met earlier.
Monetarily, I’m sure it’s probably worth more in scrap than any resale value it might have. But that’s not what makes my Astra valuable.
I cannot put a price on the way my bum feels in the seat – like I have the ultimate customised driving experience.
I cannot put a price on the fact that I’m sure this car has saved my life on a number of occasions
I cannot put a price on my totally inexplicable sense of pride that even after 200000 miles, the Astra is still going strong.
But even more than all these invaluable aspects, I would not say goodbye to my Astra until it literally stops working because I value the stories we have shared.
So often, when I’m picking up my friends from the station, or giving them a lift somewhere, they will comment, “I can’t believe the Astra is still going…I remember when…” and they will remind us of a moment that brings us both instantly to joy and laughter and fond reminiscence.
The Astra has seen every stage of my adult life – from student, to club promoter, to restaurateur, to youth worker, to mentor, to author, speaker, performer…and finally father.
After a few seconds of staring at the photos of my friend’s Ferrari on facebook, I realised my conditioned response of inadequacy was so ridiculous because I am already driving the Ferrari of my heart.
It is grey, it is dented, it is rusting in places and it definitely needs a hoover…and it has driven me 5 times around the world without ever leaving Britain. I wouldn’t want to drive anything else.
Out of all of this, came one of the greatest gifts of learning I have ever been able to share:
You are guaranteed a rich life when you value stories as much as you value things.
My friend with the Ferrari was proof of this – it transpired he was not showing it off because he wanted to show how big and cool he was…rather because it had always been a childhood dream to own one. The Ferrari was simply a way for him to celebrate the much more valuable stories he treasured.
So where are you falling into the trap of raising up things and devaluing the priceless stories you already have?
Are you ready to begin a new chapter, to begin living a story that wows you and impacts the world?
If yes, join me as we discover how to transform the story of where you’re at now into the true story you know you were born to be living.
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