I watched a video of one of Usain Bolt’s first races that he ever won this morning. Like most of his races he literally runs away from the field. In this particular race you find out that he did so with his track spikes on the wrong feet. On the wrong feet. When the gun went off, he said everything went silent and he just ran for his life. Afterwards he stops and salutes the crowd. At the end he says “That’s where it all started for me.” I found this oddly compelling that he could point to a moment in time where the rest of his life “started.” For most of us we don’t even have a clue what it is that’s started or not. Which at first sounds sad but is really actually an incredible opportunity.
We are all telling a story with our lives. Whether we like it or not. Our lives are our words and paragraphs, chapters and verses and if we look at it that way, we have the power to change the ending. To live a plot twist. To be the protagonist or antagonist. To write the ending.
I think a lot of people these days feel trapped. Trapped in what their lives have become. Trapped by expectations that they have either created or that they feel like they can’t move away from. I know I do some days. But I also feel like I can flip the script most days and you can too. To write a chapter that makes the world say, “I didn’t see that coming.”
To do that you have to at the least be open to the possibility. To turn the pen one revolution to the right and say, “This isn’t going to keep going this way.” To start a next chapter that’s not the same as the last three.
A guy I know is going through an incredibly public, seemingly cataclysmic downfall right now. He’s in his late 40’s and will be more than starting over. I tried to put myself in his shoes the other day. To consider what I would do if I were in his position and it’s at once anxiety filling and overwhelming. It makes me look at the chapters that I’m in look like the buildup to a happy ending. He will have an opportunity to start again, and he will have to because he has forced the pen in a certain direction. Luckily, most of us aren’t forced to make that choice, we get to choose.
Your life can be any story you choose, and really you truly can re write the ending.
The first step is just believing you can.