be the author of your own story…

I grew up in a small (very small) town in Central Utah.  We had a local show house and Lund’s Drive-in ( the local hamburger joint), when I was a teenager.  Weekends included hanging out at Lund’s, seeing a movie, dragging main (cruizin Main Street), video parties, high school sports, and driving around on the back roads.

We had to create our fun, and let me tell you…we sure created interesting things to-do, we had cemetery games, haunted graves and haunted house stories, glowing shacks.  A couple of times we even had a video parties in an old, vacant house that belonged to a friend’s family.

I mentioned driving the back roads.  At times we would play cat and mouse on these roads…kind of like a hide and seek game in the dark with your cars.  Another game we played while driving the back roads involved tossing a coin to determine which direction we would go when we came to an intersection.  Heads we turned right, tails we turned left. Our destination was determined by the flip of the coin.  We never knew where we would end up.  Sometimes we didn’t have the option to go either way, such as if the intersection went straight and right only.  Other times we came upon dead ends.  We made due and made changes as needed.  The amazing thing is that we always ended up back home in the end.

Our back road game is somewhat like life.  We have many roads (choices) around us.  Who determines which roads you take?  Do you decide by flipping a coin, reading your horoscope, make the decision by not making the decision, or do you do the decision-making, creating your own map and not letting outside forces, such as dead ends, right turns only, and speed bumps determine the course you will take in life?

In a previous post I mentioned my struggle with understanding philosophy and abstract thought.  Yesterday I finished reading a philosophy that actually made sense to me.  The existentialism philosophy.  To sum it up, existentialist dismiss some of the attempts of other philosophies in determining what is real and not real in the universe.  Existentialists look at “what it is that makes one’s life valuable to the person who lives it” (Gutek, 2009, p. 100).  Existentialists avoid making everything systematically, or a set standard.  Existentialists believe that individuals have freedom to choose their path without aid from some outside force.  They believe that through living in a given time and place we “construct (our) own essence, (our) own meaning of life” (Gutek, 2009, p. 101).

Existentialist believe that life does not fit in to a structured box, but life is complex, varied, perplexing, unstructured and unpredictable. In my reading of the existentialism philosophy I came across a beautiful statement about being the authors of our own lives.  I will attempt to share it with you in my own words:

Be the author of your own story.  Work on defining yourself.  Be conscious of who you are.  Know where you are, what you are, and move forward in life becoming who you want to be.  Always remember that your story will have many chapters and is always a work in progress.

The message above reminds me of something I have heard all my life:  Remember who you are and what you stand for.

I may not understand the other philosophies, but this one I do.  It actually has given me some much-needed inspiration at a time when I am needing a push to do better in my daily life and not sit back and let non-decisions decide my course in life.

I grew up with an understanding of the importance of setting goals and working hard to complete them.  I have lost that focus in my life now and then.  Now is a time in my life that I need to start setting goals again and complete them.  Now is the time to start a new chapter in my life, one that I am going to write with strength, dignity, love, and beauty…I will throw some integrity in there as well.

So my challenge to you is this…are you going to let dead ends, right turns only, and speed bumps determine the course of your life?  Are you going to make decisions based on the flip of a coin? Or are you going to determine the route you will take, be the author of your own story.

Reference:
Gutek, G. L. (2009). New perspectives on philosophy and education. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.

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2 Comments to “be the author of your own story…”

  1. Thanks because of this! I’ve been searching all above the web for that facts.

  2. I couldn’t agree with you more, anyway l love your site layout. Is nice and clean.

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