So, last night, my wife turned to me and just said, “I just need a little space.” I had a business partner coming over and so I packed my computer bag and got ready so we could actually go and work outside of our office. I have the great lifestyle where I’m able to work from home or work remotely and I left and my wife was fine. Now, what made me think about this is, what would have the Doug of five years ago done? Well, I would have created a story. She needs space. What does this mean? What did I do wrong? Is something wrong in our marriage and our relationships? Oh, my gosh, what’s happening and how can I fix it? I would have immediately gone to this negative side, this negative commentary inside of my mind.
But, the truth of it is, is we have a newborn and she’s with that newborn all day. The only time she gets free time is when she’s shopping or doing a few other things around the house. It’s just not fair. And all she was saying is, “Look, I just need to recharge my batteries. I need some adult conversation and at this point, you’re the only adult conversation I’m having. I just want to recharge. I just want to do something I want to do, Doug, so do you mind just giving me a few moments?”
I came back an hour later and walked immediately into my office to continue to give her that free space. It wasn’t 10 more minutes that she came knocking on my office door, giving me a big, loving hug, and what she said is, “Thank you so much for giving that space. Now, all I want to do is be with you. I want to hang out with you and spend time with you.”
Now, again, five years ago I would have created all these stories. All this inner dialogue and drama about what it could mean. What could she mean by space? And I could have made all of this up and I would have then spent the last hour, maybe two, three hours, I would have stayed out all night, maybe stayed at a friends house to give her more space because I had all these stories going on. And then what else is going on in my head? You know, how often do we create these stories in our relationships, but also in the areas of our mind, of our body? We make up stories about our body and what it means. My knees hurt, oh man, that means I’m getting older. Oh wait a minute, actually, it really means that I took this supplement or I’m on this medication or maybe I did heavy squats the other day and, of course, my knees hurt a little bit.
We associate these meanings without finding out the facts. We also, as you know from listening to the previous Daily Growth Hacks, 95% of our decisions come from our emotions. We get to choose which emotions we experience, we also get to choose what it means. Remember the triad. So, what I did differently, now, and this is going through things just like these Daily Growth Hacks, going through coaches, seminars, mentors, is I changed the way it meant. I just said, “you know, I don’t know what it means. She asked for space and that’s all she needs is space.” I’m a natural introvert, so I recharge my batteries by myself. I always need space and I take it every single day. And so my wife is just asking me in a loving way of what she needs. I just took it as that and went out and did what I needed to do for business, with my business partner, had a good time and came back. What I came back to, since I had clear energy, I was happy. I was very secure with myself, very grounded in what I was doing, so when my wife came up to me and said, “Hey look, I just want to spend time with you.” I was there for her. I was present. I didn’t have all this gobbledy gook going on in my head.
When someone says, “I need space.” It made me think about where else in my life, in my Five to Thrive, am I making sure that I’m not making up a story? I’m not making up a story about what happened. So, in business, when a client says, “I need to talk to you.” How many times do you go, “Oh my gosh, what happened? Did something slip through the cracks? Did someone on my team do something or send an email to the wrong client? Confidential files? You know, we deal with a lot of confidential information, gosh, what could have happened?” And that client could reach out to you, and it’s happened to me many times and just said, “Geez, Doug, I want to thank you, your team’s amazing, you’ve helped me grow my business. I just wanted to thank you.”
Now, back in the day, I would have made up a whole story and ruined all that day with stress and worry and ruined those thousand little moments between that and that phone call to receive that compliment. The truth is, I wouldn’t have been able to take that compliment because I would have been so on edge, that that compliment would have been like, “Oh, okay, great.” And I just wouldn’t have been able to take it in.
Fast forward to today, and just remembering about controlling my emotions and thinking about needing space as the analogy, that it’s just what people say and not creating a story around it. So, here’s what I want you to do and the insight that I want you to get from my experience is write out your Five to Thrive. I want you to write out times in your day when you’ve heard something or created a story that doesn’t exist. It’s not factual. You couldn’t actually stand in front of a court and say these are the absolute facts. For example, my wife said she needed space, which means I’m doing something wrong, she doesn’t love me. None of that’s factual. The only fact is my wife said she needed space. That’s the only fact there.
So, often times, what I want you to do is write out that paragraph and just highlight the facts. Highlight any facts that are in there. Now, I’ve done this exercise in the past, in fact, I did it almost 15 years ago as I recall, and I wrote two pages out and when I went back and highlighted the facts, I only highlighted about two to three lines of those two pages. It was absolutely amazing. The rest is all story that I created about a past experience in my life. When I was able to free myself of that, I was just laughing. I was just like, “Oh my gosh. I’ve had this whole story walking around, but the truth is, the facts were really small and I can make them mean anything I want.” I was able to change that and I was able to change my story and write a new chapter in my story moving forward, and that’s what I want for you.
So, write your Five to Thrive, and then write out what in each of those areas, if any, you’re making up stories. Just write those facts out and now, flip the script. Write the story the way you want. And you could say, life is empty and meaningless and it’s empty and meaningless that it’s empty and meaningless, right? Your old landmark thing. Or you could just simply say, this is just the facts and that’s the way it is or you can twist it and make sure that story serves you. If you’re able to write your own story, why wouldn’t you write a story that serves you to your higher purpose? That’s what I want for you today.
That’s it for me. Remember to go to AuthorofYourOwnStory.com, where you can get the latest tips, tricks, and techniques and make sure you’re on the newsletters so you can get exclusive information. We never spam you, so you’re just going to get information that’s going to better your life, better your Five to Thrive and better the people around you and that’s what I want for you, so you can go out and be the author of your own story.
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