My husband is a programmer, and so we often use software analogies to help us explain things.
One of our software analogies is that the messages that we pick up on in life are like software that determines how we live.
A second way to think of this is in terms of lenses – where each lens is a message that shapes the way we see a situation or circumstance or experience or person right in front of us, either by distorting it or correcting it from whatever our natural view might be.
Yet another way to talk about this would be to think of the messages as ‘stories’ that create an interconnected set of roads and paths for us that then determine where we can go and what we can do both along the way AND when we get there.
Regardless of which analogy you use, for so many of us we come to a place where our current messages, software, lenses or stories simply stop being able to get us to where we want to go in life. Maybe we find we can no longer make the progress we want to make with our career. Maybe we are struggling with financial set-backs that just seem to be piling up with no end in sight. Maybe we find ourself parenting in ways we promised ourselves we would never stoop to. Maybe it’s something in our relationship with our partner, our connection with our community, or just this gnawing sense that life was going to “be” more than this.
And I think that this realization – whether it comes to you in a flash of brilliance or as a slow yet dawning realization – is critically important to our capacity to do the work to become more fully the people we were made to be.
That’s because it’s not until we know where we want our story to take us, that we can begin to find the narrative to get us there. Not until we determine what type of image we want to capture that we can choose which lens to use. Not until we discover what program we want to write that we can start to lay down a code base that will deal with both the primary functionality and all of the interesting edge cases that life will throw at us.
Regardless of which analogy works best for you, my question today is simple: do you know what story you’re trying to tell? And if so, how are you doing at telling it?