I started paying more attention to the soundtrack of my live—that inner narator that constantly makes up stories about what it is I do. And I started experimenting with it: What if I change the narration? What if I switch it off? What if I give my narration a theme, so that whatever I do is viewed through and guided by that particular idea?
[00:00:00] Maybe the most underappreciated skill for living a great life is the ability to narrate. Well, if you think about this as humans, we’re narration machines, we’re constantly coming up with new ways to narrate our life, to narrate our days. To try to come up with stories that make sense, that connect to our past that bridge our way to a future.
[00:00:28] It’s very difficult for us to experience things without narrating it, without having some story, some meaning we attached to it, some interpretation, some way to explain what we experienced meaningful. Within the context of our lives to ourselves and to others, knowing how to narrate well has a tremendous influence to how we experience life.
[00:00:53] I think that there is different narration styles that we all have, and I’m not sure if we are aware of it. [00:01:00] I mostly am blissfully unaware of it. What is the voice in which I narrate? Is it kind of a deep documentary voice? Is it an excited, energetic voice? This is a stressed, afraid, whisper. What is this?
[00:01:17] The voice in my head that narrates the feelings, the thoughts, the actions, the experiences of my life. What is the sound of that voice? Where’s it coming from? Is it from the back or from the front? From the top or from the bottom? Is it within my body or without, is it the voice of somebody I know, is it my mom’s voice?
[00:01:37] My father’s voice, or is it. Arnold Schwartz, niggas voice or Elon Musk, Steve jobs voice. Is it my voice in quotations, mark? In the sense that it sounds like me. And if so, do I sound like I sound today? So is it a current voice or is it a voice of the past? Maybe the way I sounded [00:02:00] when I was 12, 14, 21, when I narrate, do I have certain tendency, do I always narrate in relation to my past?
[00:02:10] Uh, this is happening again. Uh, I’ve experienced this before, uh, I never am able to get past this challenge, problem feeling. Why am I still stuck in this, that, or the other challenge, thought emotion experience? Or is it always future paced? If I don’t do this, I won’t be able to, I need to get this done so I can today.
[00:02:42] I have not moved forward enough. This conversation is holding me back. This person is slowing me down. This mood is in the way of, are we constantly narrating towards some future destination we’re trying to get to [00:03:00] experiencing the present always is something that’s sort of in the way, or that is slowing us down or holding us back.
[00:03:08] Maybe that has accelerated us forward. So all good days have to be days that seem to be progressing us, pushing us forward towards the future and all bad days of the days where I can’t get a sense of progress of progress. Of forward movement. What is the narrative of your life? Like, is it making the movie better or worse?
[00:03:31] Have you ever paid attention to movies that have narration? I think it’s a style that’s used less in movies and much more so in books, but either way, if you pay attention to duration in general, you could watch a documentary movie. You could watch an explanation on YouTube. Or you can watch some classic movies or read classic literature.
[00:03:56] If you pay attention to the narration, you can tell how the [00:04:00] narration is changing everything. A guy walks into a store, picks up an item and at the counter realizes he forgot his wallet. So can pay this event in and of itself sort of pretty meaningless. But if we add an aeration, we could make it mean a little bit.
[00:04:19] I mean, a little something or. A dramatic event, right? It could be narrated as always, or as every morning of John’s life. He walked into the same store, picked up the same item. He could not afford walk to the counter to be surprised by having again, forgotten his wallet in shamefully, putting the items.
[00:04:44] And walking out of the store. Now, this is very meaningful versus this day, completely opposite to John’s typical character. For the first time in his life, he walked into a store, he picked up an item he needed, and at the [00:05:00] counter, he could not believe himself. He had forgotten his wallet. This was something the mere act of forgetting was something that John had not experienced.
[00:05:12] Since he had been seven years old and had forgotten his favorite peanut butter and jelly sandwich to school. I’m just making shit up here. But the fact is that the narration tremendously aiding to the meaning of the events we are to ask ourselves, how good am I narrating my own life? Am I doing a good job now?
[00:05:33] Good quote, unquote. Good. That’s a big philosophical question. What is good in the context of narrating one’s life? It’s a very personal question, I guess. Good would and could mean something in the intersection between making one B in moods and states that feel energizing, empowering, positive, and allowing [00:06:00] one to be open, curious and learning so that the narration is.
[00:06:06] Stopping us from growing or evolving or changing, right? You want to be able to grow, evolve and change. So you need some level of openness towards what and how you narrate and ideally connected to that. You want to narrate in a way that is positive, positive. Doesn’t have to be happy. Dappy. Everything is good.
[00:06:24] This is fine. I’m happy. It doesn’t have to be self deceptive. It could just be finding a way to narrate in a way that will emerge. Empower you to progress, empower you, to learn, empower you, to appreciate a power, you, to laugh, empower you to love. And then what happens if we take all narratives away? No narratives, only actions.
[00:06:47] What if you reduced your life experience to only the things you did in you experienced, you just looked at what did I embody today? [00:07:00] How did I move? How did I. How did I look? How did I sound? And then you look at what you did. Where did I walk? Who did I spend time with? What did I tackle with? You could varied based on your thoughts.
[00:07:14] Some people are stuck in narrating in experiencing their days, purely through the narration of what they were thinking today. I was thinking about this, and then I was thinking about that. And then that thought popped up. And then I thought that, and then I thought this, then I thought, well, Other people are stuck in emotions today.
[00:07:29] I felt this and then I felt that, and then I was overwhelmed by this. And then the emotion of that person influenced me and other people are only narrating by experience. I walked into the store, I saw this bus. Then there was a person fighting with another person. I ate this food. It was raining. I was a little chilly at home.
[00:07:50] I didn’t have enough food. I was sleepy. You could narrate by experience. Narrowed by feelings, narrate by thoughts. But what if you took [00:08:00] all narratives away when that drastically simplify your day? And didn’t, we all have days where the internal experience and our narrative of that, Dave, somebody asked us, what was your day like today?
[00:08:12] Our narration and our summary would have been today was a struggle, but then we hear one person say one thing and we sweat. To a gratitude mindset. And for one moment, we are re reminded, wow. Today I had food, I had fresh air. I had saved, I had some laughter and at the end I had people I love and appreciate around me.
[00:08:40] And then everything switches, right. When we are in that attitude of gratitude, all of a sudden we are shook out. The mother of our struggles and we realize, wow, my life is amazing. And sometimes it happens because something bad happens, right. Or something is taken away from us. And then we realized how powerful and appreciative and useful and [00:09:00] valuable it was to us.
[00:09:01] But understanding how we narrate this incredibly important. One thing I want to. Is narrating, less talking more in my own head, listening, simplifying, editing down the narration and amplifying, increasing the experience and the presence of the moment. And I’ll experiment with taking a couple of days. Well, we’ll only let my actions and my experiences, the things that I embody tell me the story of my life versus my thoughts.
[00:09:33] I’ll leave you with this. This is from an interview from Francis de Kapula, where I assume he talks about filmmaking, but there’s a really interesting little nugget in here. When I make a movie, I always have to have a theme. Preferably in one word, when I made the conversation, the theme was privacy. When I made the godfather, the theme was succession and I taught my children to try to [00:10:00] know what the big theme is because you have to answer so many questions every day.
[00:10:03] Like, should she have long hair or short hair? Should you wear a dress or skirt? Should he have a car or should it be a bicycle? And you know the answer. So you just. But once in a while, you don’t know the answer and that’s when you say, well, what is the theme? Isn’t that a powerful idea. Having a theme or a word that describes the theme that you, as a narrator of your life in this case, this is a director of a huge movie set, but we’re all directors, quote, unquote, as a metaphor of our lives.
[00:10:36] What if you asked yourself, what is the theme of my live right now? And if you don’t know. You give it one. And if you know, in you, don’t like it, you change it. I’ve done this for the past three days and it’s been really beautiful and powerful and clarifying. That’s the main thing we’re getting so confused by jumping in duration between thoughts and feelings and experiences and external influences.
[00:10:59] [00:11:00] And it is a very noisy, loud choosing place. If you don’t pay attention and you don’t take charge within yourself and without, and last three days, The theme of my life has been home. So any day, where, what should I do of all the options available to me, or is what I’m currently experiencing? Good or bad that am I happy with this or not?
[00:11:24] Is this what I want or not? I go back to the theme. How does this connect to home for me?