While writing a script based on his memoir, Blue Like Jazz, author Donald Miller took a good hard look at his life and the story he was living. If only we all had moments like this to make us look at our lives the same way.
Fortunately, Miller wrote “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years” and shares his experiences and forces you to consider: What story are you living? Are you living a good story? A boring story?
“If the point of life is the same as the point of a story, the point of life is character transformation.” – Donald Miller
It isn’t hard to see change in your own life. No one is ever the same person they were ten, five, even two years ago. Every encounter, struggle, success and failure changes us and morphs us. Are we moving in the right direction, though?
Today is my 25th birthday.
Sounds like as good a time as ever to evaluate my own story.
I’ve lived my life “by the book.” Solid grades, volunteering, extracurricular activities, leadership roles…heck I was even a rodeo queen. Married my high school sweetheart after I graduated college, bought a house, started a career while pursing my love of writing fiction…
So for the next 25 years, what do I want? How can I make my story better?
Michael Hyatt, past CEO of Thomas Nelson, put together an ebook about creating your life plan. He starts out with the end: Envision what you want people to say about you at your funeral.
I want to be remembered for smiling, for encouraging, for loving, for helping those who needed it, for writing maybe a little too often, for pushing myself and never settling for good enough, for being the one you call to chat whenever your down, for making a mean fondue and inviting anyone who wanted to come for dinner…
The past 25 years has been a story all about me and what I needed to secure my future—diploma, degree, handsome husband. But the next chapter of my story needs to be about me, serving others.
People are all that matter at the end of the day. Yes, there are things I want to accomplish: publication, career advancement, and eventually, children (the in-laws are anxious). But first and foremost, I want to focus on the ones I love.
Perhaps I’m rambling, perhaps I’m not making any sense. Can I blame it on old age? 😉
PS – My friend, Caitlin Muir, took a hard look at her story as well and wrote about her reaction to Miller’s book here.