Ever see the movie “Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium”? One of the underlying themes is that Mr. Magorium’s life is being written into books by what appears to be some gruff looking guy that would better fit in at a circus. In reality, you can think of your life as such in that everything you do is being written into a book. All the events of your life is being written down, whether it be in your book or someone else’s. This sounds contradicting but I assure you there is a purpose to this.
First we need to define what your book is. Events such as your first steps, your days in school, your first kiss, maybe your wedding, your kids, and your family. All of these events make up your story of who you are. This is your unique book and no one else’s. Then why is there in the title of this post “Stop Being the Chapter in Someone Else’s”? While our book is uniquely ours, there are details in there about the events that surround us. What our spouses do and your child’s first accomplishment would be in your book as details of your life but only from your perspective. The same is true for your boss’ book. They write entries in there of the accomplishments you make, the successes, the mess ups, everything you do that helps to define them and their business. This is what is meant by being the chapter in someone else’s.
For the vast majority, this is perfectly acceptable. Most people don’t want to be anything but living their lives and that is OK. If you haven’t read my previous post on freedom, now would be a good time to do so. Regardless, there are a number of people who are not happy working for someone else. They go to their Monday through Friday job, do their work, try not to get yelled at, and then go home. It’s the same thing day in and day out. As previously mentioned, this is how you are writing the chapter in someone else’s book. In their book, I’m sure it talks about the dismal pay you receive, the amount of profit it brings them, and your failures stand out compared to your successes.
By writing your own book, your own story, you don’t have to worry about working so hard that your boss can afford another sports car or that beach house. Instead, you would be investing your time and energy into building those things for yourself. I’ll be honest, I don’t have a sports car or that beach house, but for me, that is not what interests me in life. I would rather help others succeed and be happy than to invest into material possessions for myself. Don’t get me wrong, that is perfectly fine if that is what you’re into. At the end of the day though, you have to do what it is you love. Let’s put things into perspective. The average human lives to the age of 79. The Earth has been in existence for a little over 6,000 years. That is not a whole lot of time. Especially when you take out 18 years of that to account for your youth and maybe another 11 to account for retirement, that leaves just 50 years of your life.
In looking at the scale of your life, that’s roughly two thirds of your life that is available for working, raising a family, etc. But look at the existence of Earth, 50 years isn’t a whole lot of time. If you think about it, even the United States have been around for nearly 250 years. So 50 years in comparison doesn’t give you a lot of time. Some of the greatest entrepreneurs of their time realized the significance of this and did something meaningful with their lives, pursued their passion and their products are still around today. Rockefeller was successful selling kerosene for lamps and in this business of refining oil, he accidentally invented gasoline which is used all over the world today. Westinghouse and Edison were pioneers in electricity and their products are in use today. We wouldn’t have wireless communications such as Wi-Fi thanks to the work of Tesla. Ford modernized the production line and made owning cars for the masses possible.
Everyone of these individuals and countless more have done something great with their life because they realized their time was limited and they followed their passion. They didn’t write the chapter in someone else’s book; they wrote their own. For the general public, this could be possible as well, all you have to do is follow your passion and stop writing in other people’s books; write your own.