Every Story Has a Theme

“The concept of the Sopranos is “Let’s take a gangster and send him to a shrink. When he whacks somebody, he feels guilty about it. We’ll show a crime boss suffering internally.” - “That’s the concept of The Sopranos.” - “The theme is ““All of us are crazy in the same way. A gangster’s inner turmoil is exactly the same as that of every other affluent suburbanite with a family and a job. The only different is our protagonist regularly kills people.”” 
-Steven Pressfield
“Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t”

 

I wanted to try something new for those of you who peter to listen to new ideas, rather than read them. Today's post is also recorded for you so you can listen to it!!!! Check it out...

 

Another key idea from Steven Pressfield’s “Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t”: Every story must be about something or, put another way, “every story has a theme.”

I'm applying these ideas from Steven Pressfield's book to the idea of writing your “LIFE STORY.”

Giving your life a theme is really giving your life a meaning by way of a specific idea that runs throughout. Now of course our life’s theme can change as we grow and change, but having a theme can anchor you to what your are doing NOW so that you don’t feel ungrounded, overwhelmed, or purposeless. 

I’ve noticed that when I hear other people tell their life’s story they often tell of a moment when someone said something important to them. It’s often the moment when the protagonist (the person whose life story is being told) is introduced to their “theme.” 

For instance, the story of Madonna Buder (a.k.a. The Iron Nun) has kind of gone viral on social media. In the video below (click the image to watch) she tells of a priest who encouraged her, at age 48, to take up running as a way to “harmonize the mind, body, and soul.” The theme here is something like, “when someone harmonizes their mind body and soul they can do things that would otherwise seem impossible and that the only failure is not to try.”

 

So, the theme for my life that I am using to tell this phase of MY STORY came from two teachers and two moments. 


The first moment was when I heard an idea expressed by Steve Chandler (author of many books including his newest on addiction “Death Wish.” He said “The universe is abundant. We create limitation.” I was reading a lot of stuff online about “the law of attraction” and what Steve Chandler said had me approaching the idea of abundance totally differently.

The next moment was when I heard Brian Johnson -Author of “A Philosopher’s Note” explain the root of the word “decide.” The Latin root of the word “decide” is “decir” which means “to cut” or “to cut away.” When we decide we cut away options so we can move forward with what remains. 

The theme is this: “the universe is abundant so in order to create what we want in our lives we create limitation by deciding, by cutting away. 

What I have learned is that by spending our time not deciding, because we don’t want to lose out on something, we remain in a life of abundant possibilities and nothing to show for it. 

Using this theme I decide to be someone who takes action. To make decisions that create a certain level of risk because they cut away various back up plans, but what I get is the ability to focus on the things that remain, my highest priorities. 

Those things that remain are the things that are too important to let go of. I choose them and they become the world I commit to creating. 

Today, I have two questions for you. 

1. Does your life’s story have a theme? And, if not, what would you be willing to explore as a theme FOR NOW? 

2. What decisions can you make so that you are left with a clear path to the life you want? What will you cut away from the abundant possibilities so that what remains is the life you wish for?

Leave your answers in the comments below:

For instance, the story of Madonna Buder (a.k.a. The Iron Nun) has kind of gone viral on social media. In the video below (click the image to watch) she tells of a priest who encouraged her, at age 48, to take up running as a way to “harmonize the mind, body, and soul.” The theme here is something like, “when someone harmonizes their mind body and soul they can do things that would otherwise seem impossible and that the only failure is not to try.”