My elementary school gym teacher used to refer to me as “Pistol Pete.” “Pistol” Pete Maravich was a professional basketball player in the 1970’s. Since I only attended that school from 1980-1986, there is no way for my teacher to know the negative connotation to the moniker. Despite being one of the best ball handlers in the NBA during his career, Pistol Pete’s career only lasted ten years. In addition to having a short career, he also lived a short life. He passed away at the age of 40 from a sudden heart attack. While those two facts are disheartening enough, the most shocking thing is that he wrote that script in 1974. During an interview, he told the reporter “I don’t want to play 10 years in the NBA and die of a heart attack at age 40.” Unfortunately that’s exactly what happened.
Am I suggesting that his fears ended his career and eventually killed him? Not particularly. The comment could have been made without much thought and he didn’t ever think of it again. I don’t know the inner workings of that Pistol Pete’s mind. However I do know without a doubt the power of our brains and the importance of the stories that we tell ourselves.
Every day is another page in the script of your life. You’re writing the script and acting out the story at the same time. Often the action and the writing happen almost simultaneously. However the big decisions are truly up to you. Who is your character? How does she/he react to times of trouble, drama or adventure? What are the big story arcs? Are you the star of your own story or have you relegated yourself to a background character in someone else’s story?
No matter the answers to these questions. You are now aware that you are telling the only story that matters. The one that you have about yourself inside of your own head. That is the starting place for everything that you do in your life. Tell yourself the story of the life that you want to live and do it every day inside of your head. Then slowly but surely blur the lines between the story in your head and the story in your life. If you want a better life, give your character better lines and better actions. Eventually you’ll be the star of your own story. Don’t write the ending right now though. That will eventually take care of itself. Put some major action into the script today!