We’re free to give whatever meaning we want to any situation we find ourselves in. In turn, the meaning we give a situation determines how we respond to it.

Meaning is not to be confused with a statement of facts. For example if there is a minus zero balance in your bank account, it’s a fact. The meaning of an empty bank account though, will differ from person to person.  One might see it as the end of the world, a time to give up.  To another, it may be a wake-up call, a time to work harder.

Our freedom to choose meaning or put differently ‘the story we tell ourselves’, greatly influences the direction of our lives.

So what influences the story we tell ourselves? Thoughts, beliefs and feelings.

In our above example, the thoughts, beliefs and feelings you associate with money will determine what story plays out in your head when you don’t have money.  The person who sees a zero balance as the end of the world, may have beliefs like “It’s hard to earn money”, “I’m just not good enough to get more money” accompanied by feelings of despondency and a depressing outlook. On the flip side, a person motivated by a zero balance might believe, “I’m a go getter”, “I must find a way” with corresponding feelings of optimism and hope.

Most of our stress and drama happens in our head so the next time you find yourself overwhelmed with a difficult situation, ask yourself these two questions:

  • What do I have control over in this situation?
  • How rational/logical/truthful/sensible am I being?

The story you tell yourself about yourself and the world you live in, manifests as your life. At any given moment, you can change the trajectory of your life by telling yourself a different story.