Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Have You Created Your Own Story?

Or have you let others create it for you? It's an interesting question to ponder and consider. Most of us have let others create it or we've simply created by default. Before the apprenticeship I had built most of my life by default and not by conscious choice. One of the few exceptions to that was my move to Colorado 2.5 years ago. I choose to be here and I choose when I came here. But I didn't learn the lesson in that choice clearly enough to apply it to the rest of my life. When I decided to move here I made the decision, I committed to it (my deadline was before I was 30. I actually made it here when I was 28) and then I acted on it. I had no clue how I was going to make it happen but I knew I'd figure it out. Eventually I did.

But the point of my explanation there is that I didn't apply that approach to the rest of my life because I didn't realize that was how you create your life instead of letting things happen. Letting things happen to me has never worked out well for me. I'm quite stubborn and strong-willed so it's much better if I just create my dreams into reality. It works out well for everyone. :)

Today I learned many lessons...and I think I only recognize a couple (the create your own story being one of those lessons). I also learned a little about negotation and about living with your purpose in mind. I'll get to the purpose-driven living in a moment but first I'd like to share my negotation story with you.

I needed a chair for my office. I have a nice desk and a nice laptop to go on that desk. However I did not have a chair (there's a definite metaphor there but I'll let you delve into that..I'm a bit tired after a serious gym workout). So we decided it was time to get one so I could sit at a proper desk like a proper world class copywriter. But instead of just walking into a store and buying whatever suited my fancy, we decided I should negotiate my way into a good deal. And we practiced. And practiced. And practiced..until we were both exhausted. I was not a fan of negotiating and hadn't done so regularly. Mainly because I didn't believe I was worth the effort and I didn't feel I was helping the other person. But we changed that today (YAY! Another pattern bites the dust!!!).

After our practice sessions, I found a used office furniture store, called them, got directions and went for a visit. The nice receptionist, Carla, found a salesperson for me, Dave. Dave and I chatted about what I was looking for..mainly interested in chairs under $50. They're used chairs so it was viable.

Dave and I strolled the showroom looking at different chairs and testing them out. I didn't find anything at first but after our second stroll down the aisle I found a nice black drafting chair. I LOVED it...wanted it immediately. So I asked Dave if we could see it, sit in it and roll it around. We did.

Dave looked at the price tag and said..well it's $49.99. I could go down to $25 for you. And I said "Well Dave, how about $20?" And he said "I'll meet you in the middle. How's $22.50?" I said "Perfect! You've got a deal!".

Now here's the really interesting part...when we rehearsed this negotiation our rehearsal was almost word for word the exchange I had with Dave. BUT in our rehearsal I asked the sales person if they could go down to half of the price (in reality Dave already went down to half the price..I didn't have to ask). AND in our rehearsal we practiced that same exact line that Dave said "How about if I meet you in the middle?"

Fascinating right?!! Did I create that story? Well we created that story but you get the idea.

So if I can create a simple negotiation for an office chair (and it's a fantastic chair I must tell you), why not create every other experience? Sure! I'm all for it. The negotiation was fun. Dave made a sale, I saved some money and everybody wins! In fact, that's exactly what I said to Dave...everybody wins. I took his card and will definitely give him more business because after he gave me that discount, he even loaded the chair into my car for me. I didn't have to ask - he just offered. And that offer was another part of our rehearsal.

Are you finding that as "trippy" as I am?? I'm just fascinated by it. Absolutely fascinated.

So before I go off into la-la-land to explore that let's get back to the purpose-driven living. I told you I had created my personal mission statement...but I never told you what it was. I think I was tired and lazy that night. Here it is...

I was born to inspire others with my growing personal greatness through my writing, my teachings and my abundant creations in all areas of my life.

I like it. It could be summarized I'm sure but I started with about 10 sentences and this is what fits for me right now. It basically says I want to lead a life to inspire myself and others and I'm going to share my stories through writing and teaching. That word teaching includes mentoring, public speaking and one on one coaching.

At first I thought it was a bit lofty but I realize I already do it almost every day. I talk to the people in my life about my experiences and they see the changes. They see how I'm much more positive, hopeful, joyful and loving. I'm a better me and I want to share that story with the world.

I understand there will be challenges in that journey but what fun is life if there aren't challenges? I read a quote recently that said something to this effect:...don't ask for an easier life but ask for the strength to embrace challenges and surmount them with greater ease and elegance.

I really like that idea. I don't want an easier life...that's boring. I believe with great challenges comes great opportunities. And if you want to improve your life, you take advantage of great opportunities.

I want to wrap my arms around each day and face the challenges head on with joy, love and grattitude. And to do a big ole happy dance at the beginning and end of each day!

That's what I call fun!!

Til tomorrow...

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