“Many desire a great life story, while few are willing to put in the work. Great stories require effort, pain, focus, and time.”
Hollywood has done an incredible job of creating unrealistic expectations. We all love those happy endings in movies because we so dearly long for them in our daily lives. Far too many have come to expect that a Hollywood outcome is possible in our lives — and it is. However, there is much more work, time, struggle, and perseverance to overcome than is displayed in a two hour movie.
The other component often lost in a conquer-all Hollywood production is not how the movie ends — but the adventure of the character’s story. We all get caught up in a great movie watching our character go through their struggles to get to the desired outcome. How many of realize what really drew us into the story was not the ending as much as it was the journey. We are conditioned that good stories have to have great endings, when the experiences in the story is what actually keeps us glued to the screen.
The same is true in real life. A successful outcome is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate. Yet the story of the journey — the lessons, experiences, obstacles, problems — make the outcome the really exciting, interesting part of the story.
While we are all aware of this and understand this truth, we still wish for, seek out, and live our lives searching for an easier path. When you are aware of your vision and your passion — that which drives, inspires, and guides you — the path you desire is the path you must take and remain on, regardless of how difficult the journey.
I finally finished the book, “A Million Miles In A Thousand Years” by Donald Miller. This book is all about life’s stories. Its a collection of perspectives on experiences — how the characters faced adversity, an experience, a challenge, a dream, or simply daily living. And, it is a reflection on the reality of our stories and how we write them and tell them to ourselves and others.
In this book, the author touches on this same thought — how it can be too easy to give up on what we desire most.
“I think this is when most people give up on their stories. They come out of college wanting to change the world, wanting to get married, wanting to have kids and change the way people buy office supplies. But they get into the middle and discover it was harder than they thought. They can’t see the distant shore anymore, and they wonder if their paddling is moving them forward. None of the trees behind them are getting smaller and none of the trees ahead are getting bigger. They take it out on their spouses, and they go looking for an easier story.”
Our life is one big, long story. There are many chapters — experiences, lessons, reflections, regrets, and accomplishments. Each chapter is simply another component of the bigger story — your life.
Every one of us has a story to live, to share, and to celebrate. The story you tell has very little to do with how fast, quickly or easily you reached your destination. Save those stories for the movies.
Your story is that powerful lesson of your experience — how you embraced your vision for the life you desired, the people you touched, and the lives you influenced. Your story is in the recollections of little triumphs over big obstacles and big struggles with simple issues. Your story is that lesson that you share with others how you embraced your passion and took an incredible journey that provided awesome lessons along the way. That is how stories really end.