My feet were hurting yet my mind was as clear as ever. I knew we were getting close to reaching a goal that we all had been training for over many months. I wanted to savor the moment before we went on our final few miles to the peak of Mt. Charleston. That's me in the picture sitting on a decrepit old log and in the background there is nothing but desert and mountains that stretch for as far as the eye can see. To most people a desert represents a vast, dry and lifeless landscape. However, the desert is bubbling with beauty, activity and history that we just don't quite understand.
People are much like deserts. To some people we are the sum of our exterior parts. When we look at other people we make conclusions about their story. However, the big mistake we make with people is that we rarely learn about each other's story. Our stories define us and shapes who we have become. It explains a lot about why we make the decisions we make on a daily basis. Our stories are complex yet simple, sad and happy, long and short and so much more.
Each week I spend a portion of my days having one on one conversations with people and learning about their stories. Over the past few years I have had the honor of helping many people begin to thrive in their professional lives and consequently in their personal lives. I am humbled by what I have heard by way of their stories. I don't think I could have helped those people or anyone I will help in the future without knowing the story of how they got to where they are at that moment. It is my number one requirement when getting to know people over the course of our meetings. If you can't tell your story and ultimately face up to the story of your life then it will be incredibly difficult to see and experience the joy you could have in your life.
Often everyone has a story of pain, anger and disappointment, but there are also those who have wonderfully deep and rewarding stories as well. Regardless of which way your story has mapped out, you have the opportunity to become greater than your circumstances. The negative aspects of our stories do not have to sentence us to a lifetime of unhappiness and what if statements. The greatest gift of life is the ability of one's choice to make something greater of themselves. Your story of the past may have greatly contributed to who you are, but it does not determine who you will become.
So how can you begin to write the story of your awesome future? Well...instead of me giving you a list of several things you can do I only have one piece of advice. Lose yourself. Leave your ego behind and focus on the intentions, follow through and success of others. Through that you will create a story that is centered upon service and love. And much like the desert, you will surprise everyone by thriving even in the harshest conditions. Even when your life seems to be so arid, so empty and so drab people will marvel at how you continue to remain beautiful and inspiring despite the difficulties that are part of this world.
Your story of the future is ready to be written right now. What will it be?