Adapt the Story You Tell Yourself or Perish

Over the last 20-30 years, we’ve experienced tremendous technological advances that have revolutionized our ways of life.

First came the Internet. Then mobile. And now blockchain technology.

We’re in the midst of some incredible changes, and we’re seeing the changes play out on both the micro and macro levels.

In times like these, people either adapting to developments or they’re left behind—with regret.

It’s been said that it’s never the strongest or most intelligent that survive, but those who are most responsive to change—those who have an open mind and react quickly with a positive attitude to the circumstances they’re facing.

This is the base principle I try to implant into the minds of those who come to me for help: the people who adapt quickest are the ones who thrive.

It’s simple to understand intellectually, although applying it in practice isn’t as easy.

Not everyone deals with change the same way.

Many people experience great anxiety.

Some even grief.

Having finally become accustomed to something only to have it change can be downright frustrating. And if you don’t have some method of rerouting—or a guide—it’s quite possible to completely fall off track.

But even that can be beneficial.

Think of it as a course correction from the great hand of Nature.

The reality is, the universe is in a constant state of change and our lives are merely what our thoughts make of it.

As human beings, we’re designed for these types of situations.

Our brain is inherently wired with instinctual behavior patterns to respond to and survive in any environment.

Neuroscientists have confirmed: our brain is ever-changing and always re-configuring the wiring according to new thoughts and new experiences.

Through the process which we’ve labeled ‘neuroplasticity’, our brain designs new patterns, cells, and neurotransmitters in response to the new input it receives.

So, we’re literally reshaping our brain just by entertaining new perspectives and giving ourselves new experiences—even now, as you read this.

Knowing this, it’s clear that the only thing that will hold us back from thriving in these new times is the past stories we continuously tell ourselves.

In other words, our idea of our “self”.

According to Buddhists, and now backed up by neuroscientists, this “self” is an illusion.
It’s a concept built from the stories we’ve told ourselves about ourselves.

When it comes down to it, our idea of “I” is an immense collection of narratives we’ve created about our life experiences.

To put it another way, it’s just an idea.

An incredibly impactful idea. But nonetheless, just an idea. And as ideas go, they can change and evolve.

That’s what therapists do with their patients and what I do with my mentoring clients: identify a narrative created and the meaning assigned to it, and with impactful questions, help re-write the story around it.

This is something you can do on your own as well.

At the root, you’re shifting your thinking about a situation and the significance you’ve assigned to it.

This way, the emotional response to the story changes—along with the behavior.

What would happen if you adopted the view that everything in your past has happened to prepare you for the glorious moments which are unfolding now?

How much more confidently would you approach your future problems knowing that they’re not problems, but actually opportunities for you to apply yourself and prosper?

We’re built to thrive.

To succeed.

To accomplish.

Nothing happens TO us. Everything happens FOR us.

By believing this, without a shadow of a doubt, a person positions themself for growth.
The alternative is to go on like the rest of em’: a victim to life’s circumstances.

“Adapt or perish, now as ever, is nature’s inexorable imperative.”
— H. G. Wells