December 22, 2017

How to read your 2017 story?

How did 2017 treat you?

Regardless, if you had your strongest year-ever, a so-so, or – hopefully not – the weakest.

The conclusion of your 2017 story highly depends on how you interpret it and learn from it.

The story you tell yourself of how 2017 ended up for you, has profound implications for how your 2018 and beyond will play out.

Case in point is Dan McAdams, Northwestern University psychologist, who developed the concept of Narrative Identity.

He ran an experiment where he asked people to tell him their life stories.

Two distinct narrative patterns emerged:

1)    People who recount Redemptive Stories about their lives, or stories that transition from bad to good.

2)    People who recount Contamination Stories, in which people interpret their lives as going from good to bad.

Redemption and contamination stories are just two kinds of tales we spin.

McAdams has found that beyond stories of redemption, people who are driven to contribute to society and to future generations, are more likely to tell redemptive stories about their lives, or stories that transition from bad to good.

Whereas people who told Contamination Stories tend to be more anxious and depressed and to feel that their lives are less coherent compared to those who tell redemptive stories.

As I’d like to say, we’re all playing in our own film, as the director, hero, cameramen and most importantly – THE EDITOR.

So doing even small positive edits to your 2017 story have a profound impact.

What have you learned in 2017? What edits are you making to your story?  Feel free to drop me a note or chat. I am curious to learn how you’re reading your 2017 story.

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Source: Visual Storytelling