Reasons to be cheerful, Part 3.1.4: “Get me rewrite!” How to revise the script of your life — writing yourself a happy ending.

A friend said this on the phone: “I’m sorry this is taking me so long. I’m really bad at computers.”

My reply: “Why would you say it that way?”


“I understand that you’re reporting on what you see as being a matter of fact. But why not say it this way: ‘Computers have been a challenge for me, but I find I’m getting better with experience.’ You’re telling the exact same truth, not misrepresenting anything. But by focusing on what you’re doing right, you’ll improve your future performance just by changing your attitude.”

I’m not talking about canned affirmations. I’m talking about the words you choose when you’re telling the unshaded truth about your life, your mind, your talents, your work, your relationships.

You can say: “I’m a lousy writer.” But you can be just as truthful by saying this instead: “It hasn’t been easy for me to improve my writing skills, but I’m finding that hard work is paying off for me.”

You can say: “I always get lost when I go someplace for the first time.” But it would be equally factual to say, “I find it beneficial to prepare carefully before I travel to an unfamiliar neighborhood.”

You can say: “I’ll probably lose.” But you would be no less honest to say, “I just might win.”

The statements you make about yourself might seem to you to be statements of fact at the time you are making them. But whatever truth there might be in those expressions right now, you are also writing the script for your future. Saying “I’ll probably lose” is functionally equivalent to saying “I’ll never win.” If you don’t mean to say that you can never, ever get anything right, then stop telling these brutal lies about yourself.

If you invert those expressions instead — concentrating on everything you get right, not everything you get wrong — by that one simple change of habit you will rewrite the script of your future. There’s no telling how high you can rise, once you stop putting yourself down, but, at a minimum, you will write yourself a much happier ending.

Here’s what I say: I’m working very hard to change the world for the better — for myself, for my family and friends, and for everyone. Here is how you can help: Stop telling those awful lies about your life, and start telling beautiful truths instead.

Reasons to be cheerful
Reasons to be cheerful: Defying the specter of ugly fates.

Manifest your own destiny: You say you want a revolution? Yeah, well anyone can piss and moan about how bad everything is. If you want things to change, I’m making a stout effort to show you how to achieve revolutionary change — from the inside out. But your own efforts at self-improvement will bear sweeter fruit sooner if you share what you’re learning with other people who love to live. You’ve never heard anything like this before. Why would you hoard it to yourself?

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