Big Life 2.02 | The "Better Story" Tool for Decision Making & Tribes by Seth Godin
Whenever you’re struggling with the weight of overwhelming life stuff, it can feel impossible to make decisions. When problems loom large, and we can’t see what life can possibly be like on the other side of the struggle, it helps to know how to use tools or techniques that other people have used to get through similar challenges.
One tool that is super effective is the concept of a better story. Here’s how it works…
Imagine that you’ve survived whatever you’re dealing with. It’s five or ten years later and you’re reflecting on your current life situation and remembering the decisions you had to make.
What were the options you had to consider?
Looking back as a future survivor of this current catastrophe, which option makes a better story? How can you be the hero and not the villain in your story?
This idea comes from a book by Donald Miller called, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life.
For a story to be good it needs a protagonist who is on a worthy quest.
At Big Life, Inc., we talk about this all the time. Life can happen to you or you can happen to life, and the difference is deciding to take action rather than being passive.
A great example of how the Better Story Tool works is divorce. Does it make a better story if you try to destroy your former life partner or if you work to honor each other and your time together, and you begin to move in different directions?
It isn’t easy because when you’re experiencing loss, the primitive part of your brain takes over the wiser, evolved part of your brain. That’s called the Amygdala Hijack, and it is very literally
Your struggles in life are plot twists, and if you can take control of your thinking, and use the tool of a better story, it makes decision-making so much easier, and the decisions you will make will be so much wiser.
Before the Internet, we were stuck with the people we were born around … my family, my neighborhood, my school, my church, and my town. Geography forced homogenization and people with unique personalities, beliefs, and dreams tended to feel out of place.
People who grow up in cities have more opportunities, and anyone able to move away for college or to pursue artistic opportunities tended to better find a sense of place and belonging.
The Internet changed the world in a radical way by letting people find and connect with people who match.
Ultimately, Seth Godin’s book, Tribes, is about our brave new world and how we find our tribes, and how people with a clear, compelling visions build tribes around themselves. Seth calls new tribe leaders, “heretics” because they tend to be people who aren’t satisfied with how things are and work to create change.
A good example of a heretic is Steve Jobs because Steve was willing to break rules on his quest to make a dent in the universe.
The book gives examples of people who are successfully embracing rapid change caused by technology and the availability of unlimited information, and reinventing everything and how everything in both the digital and analogue worlds can be produced, marketed, and distributed.