It Was Never the Way You Thought it Was!

You labor under a misapprehension.

And it could be preventing you from reaching the success that could be yours.

You think the past is given and it happened and there is nothing you can do about it.

The past did not happen. You merely think it did!

This is HUGE, so bear with me as I explain.

Persons of a certain age who grew up in colonial surroundings will readily relate to what I recount.

I discovered books early and they were my outlet to the universe. Many of the books I read were by British authors and I have happy memories of the world they depicted. I loved the adventure stories, the intrepid heroes, the larger-than-life villains and the shadowy realms in which they did battle.

I devoured P G Wodehouse. I also read Edgar Wallace, Sapper, Peter Cheyney, Leslie Charteris, Eric Leyland, Capt. W E Johns, Dorothy L Sayers, John Dickson Carr, and many others.

I remember the Bulldog Drummond tales recounted by Sapper and his numerous tangles with his arch enemy Carl Peterson. Drummond kills Peterson in The Final Count. But Peterson’s wife, Irma, arises to take revenge on behalf of her husband in The Female of the Species.

A week ago, I started reading that book again. It was a trip down memory lane.

Talk about disappointment!

The book I remembered as a taut, suspense filled thriller was a sophomoric mishmash of unbelievable coincidences, pedestrian writing and mediocre plotting. I struggled through a hundred and fifty pages before I gave up. That book along with the other Sapper novels I have are in the pile to be given away. My wife will donate them to an organization that runs thrift stores in the vicinity for the benefit of the indigent.

I remembered, ruefully, that I had given away all my Edgar Wallace novels some time ago for the exact same reason.

There is a lesson in this.

You, too, have had things happen to you in the past. You think that they were ‘real’.

They are not.

The stories you told yourself about them are real. And you do not recognize that it is these stories that matter, not what happened.

I get pushback when I say this. All very good when we are talking about a book I loved in the past and no longer like, you say. But what about the serious injury that I had when young and that still leaves me physically challenged?

What I said still holds.

The injury was important.

The story you told yourself about that injury is more important. It is the story that shapes your life much more than the injury.

What would happen, for instance if you had no limbs? That would be terrible, right?

Perhaps. But do watch this four minute video:

Pay attention to the stories you tell yourself about the past.

And to the stories you are telling yourself about what is happening to you right now.

And change the stories that are not serving you well.




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Srikumar S Rao

Srikumar Rao is the author of “Are You Ready to Succeed?” and creator of the celebrated MBA course, “Creativity & Personal Mastery.” //