“What book are you reading young man?” A sharp and edgy voice sounded above the loud noise of chatter. Across from him sat an elderly man. He wore a proud smile on his face and sat slightly bend forward. Squeezing his eyes together trying to read the title on the book cover.
He took off his headphones, so he could hear the man speaking. “Sorry, what did you ask?” He was ashamed of the rude tone of voice he asked it with and started blushing. The elder man didn’t seem to mind and continued. “I wanted to know what book you were reading.” He asked again. “Oh, I am reading the book Storytellers Secret.” He replied to the elder man. He almost wanted to put his headphones back on and continue reading when the man continued the conversation.
“Are you a storyteller yourself?” He kindly asked the young man. “Yeah, I am an aspiring writer, but I’m not any good yet.” The young man answered. The elder man smiled. “How come you are not any good yet?” The man asked. “I’ve only been writing for about three years now, which isn’t enough to be a professional writer I belief.” The aspiring writer answered. “Is that why you are reading this book?” The elderly man asked. “Yeah, it is. I want to learn more about the craftsmanship behind telling stories.” The young man placed a marker on the page he left off and closed the book.
“So when do you think you can be a professional writer?” The elderly man asked as he reached out with a pack of gum in his hands. “You want one?” He politely asked. “No thanks,” the aspiring writer replied. “Well, I think that I can only be a professional writer when I’ve had enough experience writing, and figured out what my style of writing is.” The man continued. “I see, so when will that be, you think?” The elder man continued asking questions, but the young man wasn’t offended by them. The elderly man seemed to have a pearl of ageless wisdom within him.
“Well, I don’t know yet, maybe in 4 years or so? Or maybe when I get to about a 1000 monthly readers on my blog.” He answered. “That’s very specific, don’t you think?” The elderly man said. “So you can’t call yourself a writer before that?” The man quickly added. “Hmm…” The aspiring writer thought for a moment. “No, I don’t think so.” He answered. “How come?” The elderly man asked. “I remember reading a quote that said, that to be a true master, or be a leader in your field of work, you should have at least 10 000 hours of practice in it. So that would mean I would have to write for at least 10 000 hours before I can be a master at my craft.” The young man said.
The elder man looked out of the window. The train was moving through a forest, and on both sides trees quickly passed them by. The elderly man stayed quiet for some time. He seemed to be thinking of what to say.
Words Written on The Cover
“So without 10 000 hours of practice, you really can’t be a writer?” The elderly man once more asked. “No.” The young man answered. “Why are you asking me this?” The young man asked. The elderly man smiled. He reached into his bag and pulled out a thin book. On the cover, it said, the story you tell yourself will determine your life. It was an old book, one that the young man had never heard of before. “I wrote this book, years ago. When I was about your age. It has changed my life.”
The train slowed down, the conductor spoke on the intercom. “We will soon be arriving at the station of Arnhem.” The elderly man closed his bag but didn’t place the book back in it. “Here you go.” The elder man said as he stood up. He was holding the book right in front of the aspiring writer. “Do you…” The young man wasn’t sure what to think of it. “Yeah, I want to give it to you. I think that it will change your life too. You know, we are very much alike, but I don’t have any more time to talk to you. This is where I have to get off. So take this book, maybe one day we will meet again.” The young man reached out and took the book from the elderly man. “Thank you.” He softly said, unsure of what to think of everything that just happened. “Your welcome!” The man grabbed his bag and flung it across his back. He padded the young man on his shoulder. “Remember one thing, will you, today you live! Make the most of it.” He smiled at the young man and then left the compartment.
“Wanting didn’t get me far, I had to change something drastically to live the life I wanted to live. I had to change in order to live a great life”
The young man was left alone in the compartment. Almost everyone seemed to get off at this station. He put the book Storytellers Secret back in his messenger bag and opened the old book he received from the elderly man. He was surprised when he found a handwritten note on the inside of the book. “To the soul blessed to read this.” Was written at the top of the little handwritten note. “Years ago I wrote this book” The story continued. “I was in a place of constant self-doubt, and worry. I wanted to become a writer and wanted to live a great life. But wanting didn’t get me far, I had to change something drastically to live the life I wanted to live. I had to change in order to live a great life. You probably received this from me as a gift, which means that I want to see you create the great life you want to live. Just like me, this book will change your life. It will make it great. This isn’t a book just for writers, or storytellers. It’s for everyone who wants to live a great life. The one thing that changed my life, was rewriting the story I told myself. That’s what this book is about because the story you tell yourself determines who you are, what you do, how your life will play out. Writing this book showed me all the discouraging stories I was telling myself and allowed me to rewrite them. So can you. You don’t even need to read the book right away. I think you can start rewriting your life story right now. How? You might ask. By thinking of all the stories you tell yourself that are limiting your greatness. So let’s start now, think about our conversation, which belief of yours, you shared in our conversation, is limiting your greatness?”
What belief is limiting your greatness?
The young man flipped the page, but there was nothing more. That was it. How did the elder man know they were gonna have a conversation, and how did he know that it would be about a limiting belief? The young man thought to himself. He was right though, their conversation was about how he didn’t believe he was a writer yet. He never really thought of himself as a writer or storyteller. He believed he had to earn that title. Just like anything in his life really, he always had to earn it. It had to be some sort of achievement.
Rewriting Your Life Story
The young man flipped to a random page in the thin booklet. He was stunned by the first line. “You can rewrite the story you tell yourself.” He blinked with his eyes, unsure if this was real. How could he just flip to this specific page? The exact page with the wisdom he needed to hear. What he didn’t know was that deep within him his desire, and dream to become a writer was slowly changing his life. It was all aligning before him, to lead him on a path that would lead him to the greatness he’d imagine. The young man continued reading. “It’s just as simple as telling a story to someone. You have the power to influence that story. You can make it a dull story, you can make it a lie, or you can make it an exciting one. It’s all in your control. Your life story is just like any other story you tell. You can make it exciting, you can lie about it, or you can make it dull. Which one would you choose? The answer is obvious. You’d choose to tell an exciting story. But the question remains, how will you do that?”
“You can make your life story a dull story, you can make it a lie, or you can make it an exciting one.”
The train slowly picked up its pace again and left for the next station. The young man had to leave the train there, he was almost home. Not just his physical home, but he also felt that he was almost at home within himself. He eagerly continued reading the book.
“You can at any time in your life, rewrite your life’s narrative. By dreaming, and visualizing the life you want to be living, and instead of thinking “man I will never be able to live that life” you think “I will one day live that life”. Just take the parts of your life that are dragging you down, the things that are limiting you. What is holding you back? It could be a belief you have over something. It could be people you spend time with or a disability you created for yourself. Change the narrative you tell yourself.” The young man flipped the page and continued.
“That life narrative will determine how you live your life. Why? Because you are one big story. The way you view the world is a story. The way you think about me is a story. You might think I am weird, and that is okay. It’s a story you tell yourself to justify what you witnessed. The same goes for everything else in your life. It’s one big story. Your personality is a story you build over the years. You tell yourself that you can never achieve your dreams, but only because you followed the limiting beliefs of others. Everything you are, everything your life is, is a story. Change that story, and that life will change too. Don’t believe me yet? Here’s my life story.” The aspiring writer was starting to believe that he was gonna change his life by just rewriting his life narrative. He continued reading.
“When I was young, my father would always push me to do more. Even though I had an A on my test he always told me to do more. Which made me believe that to deserve something I had to always work harder. I couldn’t just deserve something because I was putting in the work. I wanted to be a writer, but I couldn’t be because that to me was a title I had to earn and to earn it I had to at least write 10 000 hours. Which was a rule that I read somewhere in a book.” The young man smiled. This was almost insanity, that someone he just met lived exactly the same sort of life he was living right now. He chuckled and looked outside for a moment. He started thinking of his life, and all the limiting beliefs and stories he was telling himself. It was time he changed those. Then he continued reading.
“That story we hold in our minds, will manifest into this world. It will become your life. If you can imagine it if you believe it, it will be.”
“To be a great writer we indeed should put in 10 000 hours of work, it’s part of the amazing journey of being a writer. But to be a writer we don’t need to achieve that. Being a writer, or being anything in life really, doesn’t require a specific achievement. It requires us to believe in it ourselves. If we can see ourselves being a writer, a doctor, a barista, we are already it. That story we hold in our minds will manifest into this world. It will become your life. If you can imagine it if you believe it. Those stories don’t need to be the kind of extraordinary stories we see all over the newspapers. We don’t need to be extraordinary, we just need to tell ourselves stories that empower us, that make us feel more alive. That’s the whole idea of this. I wanted to be a writer, yet I was limiting myself by thinking I first had to write 10 000 hours. I never had to be a world-famous writer. I just wanted to make a living from it, and help others. I decided to change my life narrative. I decided that 10 000 hours of writing was part of the journey, but it wasn’t a rule set in stone that would determine whether I was a writer or not. We can be who we were at birth. Pure, loving, and full of excitement for life. The only thing holding us from this is the story we tell ourselves. Start telling yourself the story of a life you want to live and see how your life will change.”
The intercom reminded the young man that he was still on the train. He closed the book, with a large smile on his face. He placed the book back in his messenger bag and left the train. He knew his life was about to change because he was about to change his life narrative. He had decided that today was the day he was going to live. Today he was alive, he better make the most of it.
You are Limitless
It’s time for you to start living the great life you have always dreamed of living. We all tell stories, we all share the stories that happen to us throughout our day. We make these stories interesting, but we rarely think about changing our life stories. We all have dreams and aspirations. We all have a life we dream of, and that life is the life we were meant to live from birth. That life can be yours if you start rewriting your life story.
Start changing your limiting beliefs into empowering beliefs. Start telling yourself that you will make your dreams come true. Stop believing in the limiting stories you tell yourself like I won’t be able to do that, or I first need to achieve … before I can live my dream life. Your life was meant to be great, and that doesn’t mean it has to be filled with fame and riches. It means that you should enjoy it, and do what you love to do. Your life should be filled with lessons and joy. Those two are the determining factors of living a great life.
If you start rewriting your life narrative you’ll see that you start to take lessons from the limiting stories you’ve told yourself all this time. And you’ll start to experience more joy in every moment you are going through right here, and right now. You are limitless if you rewrite your life story. Because the story you tell yourself will determine if you feel alive. So start telling yourself stories that make you feel alive. So that every day you can end your day and say Today I Lived. I am making the most of it!