by Max Sirak
(Don't want to read? You don't have to. Listen instead.)
Last month I wrote about narrative bias and how it shapes our lives. (You can read it here. Be sure to watch the videos, especially the last one, This Is Water.)
As a quick refresher, narrative bias is our tendency to make up stories to explain our lives. These stories, explaining why things happened and what they mean, affect us deeply.
Our ability to shape our narratives, to consciously construct healthy stories about our lives, is our storytelling superpower. The words we use to make sense of our lives impact how we think and feel.
To a large extent, we are our stories. For better or for worse.
Take Me For Instance
Using myself as an example let's look at my life as it stands.
– I'm 35.
– I'm single.
– I live alone in the mountains.
– I quit a lucrative job two years ago to pursue writing.
These are four objective facts about my life. Because we are humans, and narrative bias is real, each of us will weave a story to connect these dots. Again, this is an automatic response. It's how we navigate our complex world.