We Can All Be the Authors of Our Own Lives

We really can make a masterpiece out of our own lives if we so choose.

We’re all the authors here.  And I think that one of the first things that we can do is if we understand the power of self-amplifying feedback loops, the way our spaces influence our thinking and our thinking in turn influences our spaces, is that we could then control what happens to us by exercising creative control over the circumstances that we throw ourselves into. 


And there's always going to be the wild card.  There's always going to be the circumstances you can't plan for.  There's always the unexpected relevance and the serendipity.  But just like that book The Power of Pull talks about, we can funnel the serendipity or we can channel the serendipity funnel.  We can help engender and engineer serendipity by the choices that we make every moment, right?  

So by cultivating rich social networks, by cultivating weak ties, not just closed ties but the weak ties, by becoming connectors and by connecting others so that they connect us, we create a world in which these self-amplifying feedback loops feed on top of each other.  So good circumstances lead to other good circumstances which lead to other good circumstances and each one of them encourages us to then live more openly and participate in that sort of creative flow space.  You can go on and on.  

But at the risk of sounding like a self-help book, I just really believe that our creative choices ultimately shape who we become and so we should all be discerning and be radically open whenever possible and I think that we really can make a masterpiece out of our own lives if we so choose.  But that requires, it requires a boldness of character as well, because seeing the radical freedom that we have to compose our lives, what Leary called internal freedom, could also cause vertigo. 

The vertigo of freedom, this dizzying - what do I do?  I can do anything?  Well, the paradox of too much choice.  But I think we can embrace that with courage and with boldness, and once we do, there's nothing we can't do. 

In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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